Saturated ruby. Sappy black fruits on the fresh, slightly medicinal nose; shows an almost grapey primary character. Dense, bright and full-bodied; offers an uncanny combination of weight and energy. This has superb fruit, given lift by floral, medicinal and licorice notes. A pure cabernet with terrific power and thrust, but without any heaviness. The very fine tannins belie the wine's serious structure for aging. Winemaker Philippe Melka points out that this is the second vintage to come from completely different vines planted in 1996 through 1998: different row spacing and row direction, different clones, different rootstocks. 94+ (ST)
The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon was made during a transitional period for Bryant when the winery was being constructed and a dramatic change in the winemaking was taking place, from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, who had made all the vintages until 2002, to Philippe Melka and Mark Aubert, and of course today, a new team. One of the finest vineyards of Napa Valley, Bryant is situated high in the Lake Hennessey region. While the 2002 is not one of their all-time great wines, it is performing beautifully, revealing plenty of classic notes of blueberry liqueur intermixed with acacia flower, incense, camphor and graphite notes. Full-bodied, opulent and generous, with low acidity, it can be drunk now and over the next 15+ years. (RP)
This intense Cab boasts a muscular presence, dense, tannic and chewy, with a tight core of dried currant, mineral, sage and cedar flavors. Tannins suggest this will always be so. My advice: Sooner is better.—2002 California Cabernet blind retrospective (May 2012). Drink now through 2018. (JL, Web—2012)
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