The 2003 The Contender is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot that finished at 14.6% natural alcohol. The label is an artist’s interpretation of two formidable and scary heavyweights ready to rip each other’s head off. Lots of creamy black currant fruit, spicy wood, meatiness and richness jump from the glass of this medium to full-bodied, robust, exuberant wine. A lot of fun to drink, with surprising intensity and richness, it has held up well for ten rounds – oops, I mean ten years, as it still seems to be somewhat of an adolescent with plenty of life ahead of it. This is a Rhone-like, heady, succulent blend with lots of personality as well as pleasure-giving qualities. (RP)
Deep ruby-red. Aromas of currant, dark chocolate, creosote, lead pencil and violet. Fat and sweet in the mouth, with ripe flavors of raspberry, currant, mint and chocolate. The tannins here are finer than those of Everything But... and there's also stronger buffering fruit.
A big muscular style, exhibiting a mix of dried currant, herb, sage and cedary oak. Tannic and rustic, with a chewy mouthfeel. Intense, focused and concentrated, ending with an earthy touch.
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