Complex on the palate, firm, intense, vibrant and a touch dry, with drying tannins. The core dark berry flavors are deep and persistent, gaining on the finish.—2003 California Cabernet blind retrospective (July 2013). Drink now through 2019. (JL, Web only-2013)
The best wine of this group is the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve. For statisticians, the composition includes 32% from the St. Helena Home Vineyard, 19% from the Steinhauer Ranch, 12% from Marston Vineyard, 12% from Bancroft Ranch, 8% from the Quarry Vineyard, 6% from Rancho del Oso, 6% from Chabot, 3% from Bancroft, and 2% from Steinhauer Ranch. All these grapes were hand-picked between September 19 and October 28. This is a winner that is seemingly just entering its plateau of full maturity. It boasts a dense ruby/purple color along with a sweet bouquet of black currants, creme de cassis, chocolate fudge, subtle barbecue scents, and hints of lavender, forest floor and tobacco leaf. Full-bodied, rich and dense, it is a classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, as it has been in just about every vintage. The acidity is relatively low, and the 14.1% alcohol is average for a ripe Napa Cabernet. The pH is 3.71, which is just above average. This is a full-bodied, multidimensional red wine that should continue to drink well for at least another 10-15 years. (RP)
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