It's possible to be one of Napa's most vaunted winemakers and still not be satisfied. Luc Morlet, the scion of a French winemaking family, produced critically acclaimed wines for Peter Michael Winery and other properties. But, he says, "Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to start my own wineryit's part of my DNA."
Now he's achieved that, and more. Morlet's Cabernets, like the tobacco-edged 2008 Morlet Family Vineyards Coeur de Vallée ($175), have risen to Napa's top ranks in only three vintages; his Chardonnays are equally complex. Regarding the stratospheric scores they've received, Morlet responds with a French saying: "When you love, you don't count."