The estate's 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon literally bursts from the glass with juicy dark cherries, mint, spices, orange rind, tobacco and dried herbs. Like so many wines of the vintage, the 2010 is bright, focused and very tightly wound. It will require considerable patience, but is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. The 2010 brings together the fruit density and darkness of the 2008 with the textural refinement of the 2009, a pretty terrific combination in my book. The 2010 has shut down quite a bit since I first tasted it this spring, and is probably best left alone for at least another two years. 96+ (AG)
Good full ruby-red. Vibrant aromas of crushed blackberry, cassis, licorice, violet and crushed rock. Densely packed but remarkably light on its feet, with lightly peppery acidity giving a taut texture and outstanding verve to its dark fruit, expensive oak and saline mineral flavors. Really insidious, urgent intensity without any heaviness. Wonderfully complex and expressive wine, with an explosively long, slowly mounting finish that saturates the palate with suave tannins and a powerful impression of extract. This delicious, exciting cabernet, made by Francoise Peschon, long-time winemaker and still consultant at Araujo Estate, is built to age. The 2009 release was superb but this one is at a more exalted level. This site in the western hills of Oakville is also the source of Bond's Vecina bottling. 95(+?) (ST)
This has the makings of a great classic from Napa Valley. There is lots of structure as well as deep, concentrated, rich fruit, a heady perfume of black currants, licorice, spring flowers and toasty oak, a full-bodied, powerful, well-delineated style, and terrific purity as well as aging potential. Still young and tightly wound, but loaded, this 2010 will benefit from a few years of bottle age, and should keep for 20+ years. Kudos to Vine Hill Ranch. 94+ (RP)
Combines a tight core of focused berry with a measure of opulence and finesse, delivering tiers of blackberry, mocha, crushed rock and jazzy oak. Ends with firm, gripping tannins, giving the flavors traction. Drink now through 2024. (JL)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)