Probably the least evolved, although certainly accessible, stunningly complex, and just a point short of pure perfection is the 2002 Cariad. It is a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all purchased fruit from the David Abreu-owned and managed vineyards of Madrona Ranch in St. Helena and Thorevilos, behind the Meadowood Resort. Strikingly dark plum/purple in color, with notes of white chocolate, barbecue smoke, graphite, blueberry and blackberry liqueur as well as espresso roast, this is a tremendously complex blend that hits the palate with full-bodied opulence, terrific richness and intensity, and wonderfully silky tannins. The entire wine saturates the palate yet is never heavy, instead rather ethereal. This is an extraordinarily elegant, complex, yet authoritative example of a creative blend from some of the finest terroirs in all of Napa Valley, brought to life by the extraordinary passion and abilities of owners Ann Colgin and Joe Wender. (RP)
Colgin's 2002 Cariad has aged exceptionally well. A gorgeous, Old World bouquet laced with graphite, smoke and incense melds into layers of dark red fruit. The 2002 gets better and better in the glass as the aromatics continue to open up and the tannins soften. ... This is a stellar showing. (AG)
Fabulous aromas of melted chocolate and brownie fold in with dark berry, cedar, sage and loamy earth flavors, rich and intense. They gain velocity and depth, firming nicely on the finish where the tannins give this structure and have a cedary tobacco leaf presence. (JL, Web Only-2012)
Saturated deep ruby. Utterly distinctive aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, Asian spices, duck sauce, exotic herbs and flowers. Silky, lush and dense, with wonderfully subtle oak character. This actually comes across as tighter and leaner than the Tychson Hill, and more elegant, but this is due to the wine's surprising acidity and firm underlying structure, which also keep this blend remarkably fresh. A fascinating blend with a rising finish that's rare for North Coast red wine at this level of ripeness. This may merit an even higher score with six to eight years of additional bottle aging. (ST) 94+
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