The winery continues to turn out a strong Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in the Calistoga area. This is a big production item (10,000 cases), and tends to be a good value for a high-class Napa Cabernet. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (22,000 cases) is a beauty. Savory black currant fruit notes intermixed with some licorice, underbrush, and spice jump from the glass of this medium to full-bodied, smoothly textured, beautifully elegant wine meant to be served and drunk in its first 10-12 years of life. This clearly has the fingerprints of Chateau Montelena's Bo Barrett and his father Jim Barrett, but at a much lower price point, and for that reason seems an ideal steakhouse Cabernet that gives both value and pleasure. (RP)
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