Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the opaque purple-hued 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon reveals a fifth-growth Pauillac Pontet-Canet-like creme de cassis purity intermixed with lots of graphite and a touch of vanilla. This young, vigorous, full-bodied wine possesses an exciting personality as well as a terrific finish and length. It is coming into full maturity, where it should remain for another 15-20 years. One of Napa Valley’s most hallowed vineyards, with a history dating back to the 1800s, is Larkmead. I have been raving about these wines over the last decade, but I am not sure they are on Cabernet lovers’ radar to the extent they merit. Their performance with age only reinforces what a great site this valley floor north of St. Helena and south of Calistoga is. (RP)
A delightfully rich and complex young Cabernet, with tiers of ripe currant, black cherry, plum and hints of mocha and chocolate, showing a touch of sweet fruit on the finish and finishing with ripe, firm tannins. (JL)
Good medium ruby. Blackcurrant, currant leaf, leather, smoke and tobacco on the nose. Sweet, dense and lush, with flavors of black raspberry, plum and mocha complicated by tobacco and currant leaf. This, too, finishes with a hint of tartness but possesses a bit more buffering mid-palate material. (ST)
*One Star* Big in body and unabashed in it ripeness, this weighty effort is true to the loamy, black currant imperatives of good Cabernet. It is thick and slightly viscous, and it does let a bit of last-minute heat show through, but richly seasoned roast lamb or especially juicy cuts of beef promise to pair up quite nicely with its ample and direct style.
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