*Three Stars* This dazzling effort from Quintessa recalls the first-rate bottlings of a few vintages back and re-establishes the winery at the top of the list for varietal excellence. From the very outset, the wine establishes a strong base of deep, cassis and sweet plum fruit and adds in layers of enriching, wholly complementary oak. It comes with exceptional balance and is buttressed by an ample dose of youthful tannin, and everything about this handsomely executed bottling points to its certain acquisition of increased complexity and polish over a decade and more.
A dramatic young wine, fleshy and dazzling now for its lush fruit and oak, although the tannins have a crunchy hardness. But that merely ensures ageability. It’s beautiful the way the acid-tannin structure plays against the cherry, cassis and olive fruit, creating an architectural tension. If you open this wine now, decant for a few hours. Otherwise, it should hold for six to eight years, and develop further bottle complexity afterward.
From the Huneeus estate on the east side of Napa Valley in Rutherford, Quintessa is a selection from 170 acres of vineyards, mostly planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, along with Merlot and small blocks of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and carmenère. The concentrated crop in 2004 produced a wine with elegance as well as resonant power in its tannin. The fruit is perfumed, the tannin tremendously rich, almost chewy. It leaves a lasting impression of warm red spice. Delicious with tea-smoked duck.
Appealing for its caressing fruit and supple tannins. Lets the currant- and anise-laced flavors glide across the palate, offering good depth and ending with a complex, persistent finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. (JL)
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