The richness of the texture takes a step up with this vintage, and the wines are at this point starting to display consistency and clarity of purpose. Black cherry meets the brambled hedgerow fruits, and a damson puree fills the mid-palate, this is deeply spiced with cloves and anise. The tannins are clear and present but silky. 3% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 40 days skin contact, moderate summer temperatrues and unhurried harvest. (JA)
Good bright medium red. Lively aromas of plum, redcurrant, tobacco and clove show a sexy oak component. Elegant and penetrating, displaying more red fruits, spices and flowers than minerals or black fruits. This stylish, gripping, classically dry midweight finishes with firm-edged tannins, a peppery nuance and subtle lingering perfume. (ST)
An exquisite, complex, stylish wine, wearing a cloak of earthy, leathery tannins around flavors of mineral, currant, earth and blackberry. Gains intensity and shows its depth and concentration on the finish, which is long and detailed. *Collectibles* (JL)
This has quite a savory, almost smoky nose that seems more Bordeaux than Napa. Good acidity and balance on the palate. Well-knit tannins with blackberry, plum and damson. Very solid and well-structured, certainly better than the 1996. Much more subtle than I expected. (NM, Wine Journal)
Deep red-ruby. Sappy nose combines currant, smoked meat, tobacco and exotic spices. Rich, sweet and tactile, with complex, tangy flavors of crystallized blackcurrant, caraway seed and smoked meat. Unlike most Bordeaux blends from California, this shows little greenness or gratuitous oak and the finish builds impressively. A very suave wine that finishes with fine, spreading tannins. (ST)
Quite purple and deep. Still quite simple on the nose. Quite tough and intense and reined in. Something quite sweet about this. Masses of acidity. Some coffee. Big, bold, and unevolved, but not a single corner or join in evidence. Smoothness itself. 18/20 points. (JR)
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