This beautiful hillside vineyard is situated behind the Dominus Estate in Yountville. The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Paradise Hills Vineyard (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) has turned out even better than I predicted seven years ago. Made by Helen Turley when she was the consultant at Blankiet from tightly spaced, steep hillside vineyards planted by her husband, John Wetlaufer, it exhibits a beautiful nose of flowers, high quality unsmoked cigar tobacco, creme de cassis, chocolate, espresso and blueberries. Extraordinarily young, fresh and fabulously concentrated, this wine still impresses with its intensity, complexity and youthfulness. It will probably not peak in quality for a decade, and has 20-30 years of further aging potential. (RP)
Saturated ruby. Knockout nose combines blueberry pastille, black raspberry, minerals, violet, espresso and sexy oak. Hugely complex, superripe and dry, with flavors of dark berries, bitter chocolate, mocha, smoke and minerals that reach every nook and cranny of the palate. This is just at the limit of surmaturite (the alcohol here is 14.7%, high for this site but not at all excessive by today's North Coast cabernet standards), but does not cross over the line. Finishes with broad, spreading tannins that reach the front teeth and come across as even lusher than those of the 2002 merlot (ST)
Good deep red with a solid core. Some superripe notes to the aromas of dark berries, violet, licorice, espresso, fresh herbs and exotic white fruits. Superconcentrated and opulent, with a liqueur-like quality but also surprising juicy lift, minerality and savory complexity for a wine with a pH of 4.0 and the lowest acidity of all these vintages. This, too, is still a baby, although the wine’s major palate-saturating tannins are ripe and even. I'd hold it for even more complexity. (ST) 94+
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