Want to be guaranteed a great wine? Learn your winemakers.

Sure, knowing something about the estate or the region or even the vintage is crucial, but sometimes the most crucial info of all is: who made it?

Some winemakers (or winemaking consultants) occupy such a rarefied status in the firmament that — even if you happen to know nothing at all about a bottle in question — just that one detail is more than enough to inspire total confidence.

That's how we came to taste (and obtain) the 2019 Fifth Empire Cabernet Sauvignon, the handiwork of the great Philippe Melka. 

If the name doesn't ring a bell, his client roster will. Melka has lent his palate to the elite of the wine world, including Petrus, Dominus, and Quintessa. No less an eminence than Robert Parker hailed him as one of the Top 9 winemakers in the world.

We're extremely proud to be able to bring you this gorgeous Cabernet, and hope that you are as impressed and delighted as we were by its combination of power and precision.

Rather than impose a personal style, Melka takes a more nuanced tack with his projects, letting the ultimate shape and attack of a wine be determined by terroir, or by vintage, or by the predilections of his clients. That's one reason his stylish range is so vast. He can make powerful, tannic, Lafite-like wines that speak of the old-school, but he can also work in the more modern vein, with bottles marked by a bright fruit-forwardness, along with a soft suppleness on the palate.

This one leans more toward the latter, a plush, elegant wine with silky tannins on the finish. Wine Spectator's 92-point review is a testament to its sensual, expressive power: "Vivid, with warmed plum sauce and crushed boysenberry fruit flavors cascading through, supported by a graphite edge and backed by licorice snap and sweet toast on the finish."

The publication added that its drinking window begins next year, and we second that. That's not long to wait for a bottle that ought to reward you handsomely — a versatile Cabernet to pop open for a midweek dinner on the grill or wait for the weekends to share with friends on the porch or by a roaring fire.

We're offering special Concierge Family pricing for the next week — but hurry. Napa Cabs don't stick around here for very long, and Melka has a legion of followers, so act now to secure your case or cases.


*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Winter 2022 (December 21, 2022 - March 21, 2023). With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in MI, NY, or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Sunday, September 18, 2022.


*Due to limited storage space for pre-ordered product, we can only hold orders for 30 days from the first notification that your order is ready for pickup.

If you are unable to pick up your order within 30 days, please contact Concierge Sales at (855) 841-2752 or to make an arrangement.

A store associate may reach out periodically to notify you of your order. Unfortunately, if no arrangements have been made, after 30 days, the order will need to be cancelled and we will provide a full refund.  No orders will be cancelled without multiple communication attempts.