The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Cru is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance other Bordeaux varieties, such as Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Its sees about 50% new French oak and is a relatively large cuvée of just over 5,500 cases, meant to be drunk in its exuberant youth – the first 8-10 years. The 2014 Cru has turned out every bit as strong as their 2013, which says something. Dense, opaque purple color, wonderfully sweet red and back fruits, an enticing fragrance, silky tannins and a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, with no heaviness or rusticity, are the kind of characteristics that consumers love and will certainly enjoy in this wine that should age effortlessly for at least a decade or more. Vineyard 29, which also includes the nearby Aida Estate Vineyard also in the St. Helena AVA, is one of the top success stories in Northern California. The early releases are certainly good enough, but when Chuck McMinn and his wife acquired the estate, quality soared. And today this is certainly a go-to producer for fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon from both the Aida Estate Vineyard and the 29 Estate Vineyard, as well as a great Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel, with more recently a lush, more moderately priced Cabernet Sauvignon called Cru, to drink on a regular basis. (RP)
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