Showing the best structure of Flora Springs’ impressive quartet of ’04 vineyard desigated Cabs, this is a firm, well-sculpted wine whose pedigree stands out, but it needs time. It’s a big, tannic, closed wine, dry and astringent. But there’s a gigantic heart of blackberry fruit, and I would be surprised if this wine doesn’t turn into a real beauty by 2010.
Two serious winners include the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Reserve, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 21 months in French oak. This was the debut vintage of a Hillside Reserve offering, and it is a powerful, rich, opaque purple effort that remains closed at ten years of age. It requires 3-5 more years of cellaring and should easily last 30-40 years. Locked and loaded, it boasts a huge nose of cassis, cedar, cocoa and black cherries, a full-bodied, powerful style with an underlying earthy minerality, massive tannins and tremendous ripeness as well as texture. It tastes more like a 3- to 4-year-old wine than one that is a decade old, a characteristic that is common in this vintage. (RP) 93+
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