*Three stars* There are times, and this is clearly one of them, when measuring a wine by its label-stated alcohol level is an exercise in self denial. Better that one should measure this one by its gorgeous, focused, deep and balanced character because this is a refined, complex effort with layers and layers of on-point attractions. Its handsome aromas combine notes of ripe cherries with those of raspberries, new leather, hints of cedar and a nice suggestion of rich hardwoods. Admittedly full in body, yet silky in texture and very well-balanced, it hides its inner potency within a polished yet sinewy frame, and like its predecessors from earlier years, will age for a decade and more.
Deep medium ruby. Pure, lively aromas of blackberry, licorice, dark chocolate and smoked meat. Dense and lush, but with lovely energy and lift to the flavors of currant, licorice and herbs. Really lovely fruit here, with suave, ripe acidity and firm but sweet tannins giving the finish a juicy sweetness not currently displayed by the 2007, which is bigger and more powerful but less showy today.
*Cellar Selection* Abundantly rich in fruit, this Cabernet shows its California origins in the incredibly ripe blackberry, cherry and chocolate flavors. It’s sweet, almost like pie filling, except the finish is thoroughly dry. Thick mountain tannins make for astringency, suggesting ageworthiness. The window of drinkability looks like 2014-2016.
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a big, powerful wine loaded with fruit. The tannins are equally imposing. Today the wine comes across as painfully young, but the Reserve has a track record of aging beautifully in bottle, so it will be interesting to see where the 2008 goes over the coming years. Sweet mint, new leather and licorice are some of the nuances that add complexity on the focused, articulate finish. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2028. (AG)
Pretty nose of blackberries and cherries here. Full body with round textured tannins, yet supple and ripe. Juicy finish. Slightly simple now but should develop nicely with bottle age. 78% Sonoma County, 22% Napa County.
Intense and at points rustic and chewy, full-bodied and dense, with complex, firm and tannic, giving the dark berry flavors a dry savory edge. Rambles over rough terrain, yet remains complex and alluring. Best from 2013 through 2023.
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