Not the least bit shy about standing up to its big and pricey mate, this nicely crafted wine shares a keen focus on the currant fruit that makes Napa Valley Cabernets so special. It also shares a drift into slight fleshiness, and, in this case, shows greater willingness to be drunk up in the next five years even if keeping it longer is within its ability to age. Still, with a somewhat more open stance and more inviting price, this wine serves up lots to like while we wait for the Special Selection.
A flashy, opulent Cabernet. You could even call it sexy. It’s so soft and luxurious in blackberry, blueberry and cassis flavors. Absolutely delicious by any standard, yet the dry structure maintains elegant balance.
Supple and creamy-textured, with mocha, ripe plum and cherry flavors that show touches of tobacco, espresso and underbrush. Full-bodied, gaining tannic traction on the finish, elegant and readily approachable. (JL)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)