*Cellar Selection* From the winery's estate vineyard, high up on Pritchard Hill above the Silverado Trail, comes this spectacular Cab-based masterpiece. The color is purple-black, and massively saturated. Very intricate, complex, totally enjoyable, almost perfect. Like a great Pauillac, this monumental wine announces cassis, blackberry, cigar box, pencil lead, spice and cedar flavors that go on and on. Very tannic, but so beautiful, and amazingly rich.
The 2003 IX Estate Proprietary Red is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from their steep hillside vineyards. The youngest, tightest, most masculine wine of this quartet, it will benefit from another 5-6 years of cellaring and should have 25 years of life ahead of it. This impressive, blue/purple-colored 2003 behaves more like a 4- to 5-year-old wine than one that is a decade old. It is just beginning to strut its full potential. There is a roasted meaty character to this beauty, along with plenty of cassis, blackberries, blueberries, incense and spring flower notes. It admirably reveals the great terroir Ann Colgin and her husband, Joe Wender, have unlocked high above Lake Hennessey. (RP)
Ruby-red. Explosive aromas of black raspberry, minerals, graphite and flowers. Wonderfully sweet and dense, with a superripe suggestion of maple syrup and a note of hot rocks. Finishes with huge, chewy but well-buffered tannins and a lingering note of caramel. Perhaps the least lively today of these 2003s, but winemaker Aubert notes that the 2003 vintage in general here brought higher-than-average acidity. (ST)
A firmly tannic, rustic youngster. Bold and intense. Manages to serve up enough ripe currant, berry and herb flavors to balance the significant tannins. Despite the tannins, there's a wealth of concentrated fruit flavors to savor. Decant. (JL)
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