I’ll start with the best wine, which is the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, which is a blend of 6% Bancroft, 42% Steinhauer, 18% St. Helena Home Vineyard, 11% Marston, 3% Chabot, 3% Rancho del Oso, and 2% Lampyridae fruit. This spectacular 2004 has notes of barbecue smoke, roasted meats, black currants, licorice and a blackberry-like richness. Hints of coffee bean and white chocolate also make an appearance in this plump, full-bodied, voluptuously textured, dense ruby/purple-colored wine. This is a beauty. The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is approaching its late adolescence and should hold beautifully for at least another 10-15 years. (RP)
(14.4% alcohol; 42% Steinhauer, 19% St. Helena, 15% Bancroft, 11% Marston, 3% Chabot, 2% Rancho del Oso at the top of Howell Mountain, 2% Lampyridae and 6% Cabernet Franc): Bright, dark red. Dark raspberry, toffee, cedar, anise, sweet butter, smoked meat, minerals and nutty oak on the complex, inviting nose. A suave, fine-grained, perfumed midweight with fresh acidity and underlying minerality energizing its cassis, spice and mineral flavors. This wonderfully silky, very long wine boasts a near-perfect integration of fruit, acidity and tannins. The finish leaves the mouth perfumed. Delicious now but built for a long life in bottle. (ST)
Ed Sbragia blends this wine from eight sites. The Steinhauer Ranch on Howell Mountain made the largest contribution to this vintage (42 percent), followed by the St. Helena Home Ranch (18) and Bancroft Ranch (15). His 2004 shares the lush seamlessness that has long characterized the blend, but it also has a dark savor, with more character to the tannins than has been apparent in past vintages. The saturated fruit has a gunflint edge, a tight, mineral structure that will develop with age. Serve it with the dark meat of game birds, such as roast squab.
Plenty of fresh, vibrant, snappy plum, blackberry and wild berry notes are at the core, with a texture marked by gravelly earth and cedar. The tannins give the finish firmness, holding the flavors on the palate. (JL, Web-2014)
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