Another fabulous Cardinale, better than the 2007 but short of the perfect 2006. This is so complete; it tastes like Cabernet on a cloud, light but ethereal, with ripe, polished blackberry and cherry flavors and touches of mocha, spice and cedar. The tannins are a wonder—soft and pliant—yet gorgeously complex.
Over 1,000 cases of the 2008 Cardinale were made from a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Merlot. Interestingly, the To-Kalon portion is the only fruit source located on the valley floor, which is not surprising given Jess Jackson’s propensity to buy, plant and source fruit from high elevation hillside and mountain sites. The 2008 exhibits a dense purple color along with sweet kirsch, unsmoked cigar tobacco, toasty oak and black currant characteristics. The wine hits the palate with a resounding opulence, full-bodied richness, moderate, sweet, well-integrated tannins and a long, heady finish. There is a floral component in the 2008 that was not noticeable in the 2007. This beautiful, full-bodied wine was aged 21 months in 100% new French oak. Slightly more evolved than the 2007, the 2008 should last for 20-25+ years. (RP)
Strikingly graceful, refined, dense and polished, this presents a tight-knit core of dark berry, black licorice, crushed rock and floral-violet scents, keeping its focus and ending with an amazing finish. Best from 2013 through 2028. (JL)
(91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot): Bright ruby-red. Restrained but complex aromas of black cherry, cassis, minerals, espresso, Cuban tobacco and sexy oak. Penetrating black- and blueberry fruit flavors are given precision and lift by a strong floral element. Lovely juicy, firmly structured wine that really requires at least five years in bottle to express itself. Not fat but boasts terrific definition and energy, not to mention superb persistence. In the style of the 2007 Cardinale kbut with even more grip. A distinctly adult style. Winemaker Chris Carpenter describes 2008 as a "lighter year," and thus the selection for this wine was 95% from mountain fruit and the other 5% from To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville. (ST)
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