Another killer wine from David Ramey comes from the Pedregal Vineyard. This is one of my favorite sites for Cabernet Sauvignon in all of Napa, right on the Oakville crossroads on the western side of the valley, just adjacent to Rudd and slightly down the hill from Dalla Valle and the Phelps Backus vineyard. Rocky, iron-rich, red soils seem to produce terrific Cabernet Sauvignon, and certainly this is a knock-out. Sadly, there are only 325 cases of the 2004 Pedregal, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Petit Verdot. Dense purple with notes of creme de cassis, cedar, truffle, and crushed rocks interwoven with extravagant levels of graphite, black currants, and scorched earth, this dense, powerful, rich wine is a real connoisseur’s selection as it will need 3-4 years of bottle-age and should keep for 20-30+ years. (RP) 95+
Saturated ruby. Assertive red- and blackcurrant aromas are accented by strong mineral notes and complicated by licorice, espresso and tobacco. Deep, concentrated and powerfully sweet, with liqueur-like dark berry flavors and firm but integrated tannins. Gains weight with air but maintains remarkable structure, finishing with palate-enveloping sweetness. Stunning stuff. (ST)
(15% alcohol): Bright ruby-red. Rather mute aromas of currant, raspberry and sweet oak. Supple, rich and savory, with maturing berry flavors nicely framed by firm acidity and chewy, slightly edgy tannins. Initially seemed a bit awkward but grew fresher with air, showing intense black raspberry, menthol and milk chocolate flavors. Give this plenty of aeration or another four years in the bottle. This wonderfully savory, sappy wine got darker and fresher with air. Finishes with big, chewy tannins and a hint of camphor. (ST) 93+?
This is notable for two things: It shows the extreme ripeness of the vintage, and also showcases the way even the ripest Oakville grapes veer toward darker-hued stone fruits and berries of balance and finesse. This soft, rich, fat, opulent Cab bursts with cassis, spicy purple plum, black cherry, dark chocolate and sweet licorice flavors.
Combines power with finesse, offering jazzy mocha, snappy blackberry, black licorice, dusty herb and earth notes, ending with a graceful mix of cedary oak, mineral and road tar. The tannins give the flavors traction.—2004 California Cabernet blind retrospective (August 2014). Drink now through 2024. (JL, Web-2014)
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