One of the finest Private Reserves made over the last two decades, this phenomenal wine is obviously still an infant in terms of development, but it exhibits a dense purple color as well as an extraordinary nose of blackberries, white chocolate, licorice, tobacco leaf, smoky barbecue, charcoal and a burning ember-like note reminiscent of a Graves from Bordeaux. A dense, luscious, full-bodied, opulent style, with sweet tannin, this locked and loaded, intense, full throttle Private Reserve should be accessible in 5-6 years and last for 25-30. (RP)
Bright, dark ruby. Knockout nose combines wild blackberry, cassis, kirsch, animal fur, tobacco and leather scents. Plush, opulent and fine-grained but also has a Médoc-like peppery, herbal underpinning that energizes the flavors of black plum, blackberry and tropical dark chocolate. Plush but structured wine from a rich, generous year. Big, ripe tannins spread out to saturate the palate and front teeth. This wine makes the very good St. Helena bottling seem a bit dilute and dry by comparison. (ST)
Insistent, very precise Cabernet fruit is the bearing by which this well-made wine steers, and its deep theme of optimally ripened cassis shines through its ample blanket of rich oak and powers on past the youthful tannins that presently rough up its finish. There is even now a sense of precision and style that sets this one apart, and, if never an especially big wine in build, it is very well-stuffed and exudes real varietal confidence from beginning to lasting finish.
Laurie Hook blended this wine from a collection of seven vineyards, the majority coming from Howell Mountain's Bancroft Ranch and Steinhauer sites (70 percent). The power and dark extract of that mountain fruit are plumped up by juicier notes of plums and fat blackberries, all of it wrapped in the char of oak. A potent vintage of Private Reserve, this is built to age ten years or more.
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