Etude’s 2005 defines power and authority, Napa style. It’s hard to imagine a Cabernet Sauvignon more explosive in blackberry, cherry and chocolate fruit flavor. Yet the structure is superb, with firm but ultrarefined tannins providing an architecture to house all that richness. Beautiful now, and should age gracefully for a decade.
Bright medium ruby. Black cherry, crushed blackberry and licorice aromas are complicated by hints of tar and dried herbs. At once supple and firm, with brisk acidity giving shape to the dark berry, licorice and tar flavors. Still a bit bound-up, even youthfully grapey, but essentially fine-grained, finishing with firm but ripe tannins and noteworthy persistence. A bit suaver and more refined than the 2004 release, this may yet expand with more bottle age. (ST) 91+
Nicely outgoing and well-focused on fairly concentrated aromas of black cherries and creamy oak, this wine is full in body with-out giving itself over to heaviness and has a supple feel on the palate and appropriate structure in support. Its tannins are well within the bounds for Cabernet, and the wine needs only three to five years to reach its best. *One Star*
The founder of this brand, Tony Soter, is now flourishing as a wine producer in Oregon, but he used to be a prominent producer in Napa. His 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc) has a dense purple color, with restrained notes of oak, black fruits, and loamy soil tones. Youthful firmness and grip suggest this wine is not yet near full maturity. It is concentrated, medium to full-bodied, pure and meticulously well-made. Nevertheless it’s not singing as of yet, although all the component parts are there for a promising future. Give it another 2-3 years and drink it over the next 15 years. (RP) 90+
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