The 2006 was made from 32% Bancroft Ranch, 24% Steinhauer Ranch, 19% St. Helena Home Vineyard, with smaller amounts from Rancho del Oso, Chabot Vineyard, Marston Ranch and Lampyridae. A big heat wave in July was the salient weather factor in this vintage. The harvest began early and continued for five weeks. Abundant smoke, chocolate, espresso roast, cassis and mocha characteristics are found in this full-bodied, powerful, layered Cabernet. Although not quite as seamless as the nearly perfect 2005 Private Reserve, it is a big, dense beauty from a somewhat forgotten Napa Valley vintage. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades or more. (RP) 93+
Deep ruby. Aromas of blackberry, violet, licorice pastille, menthol and nutty oak, along with a liqueur-like suggestion of kirsch; suggests less uniform fruit ripeness than the 2005 and 2004 versions. Then sweeter and more open-knit in the mouth than the '05, with the intense flavors of dark berries, licorice and violet well supported by a rather powerful spine of sweet tannins. Finishes strong and long. (ST)
Aromas of currant bush and tea lead you to a medium to full bodied palate, with fine tannins, and a solid core of fruit. Balanced and delicate. Very drinkable now, pull the cork after 2013.
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