Bright medium ruby. Bordeaux-like nose offers cassis, black cherry, graphite, mocha and leather. Lush on entry, then suave in the middle, with redcurrant, plum, licorice and mocha flavors given definition by harmonious acidity. Slightly medicinal on the back but I like this wine's texture and give. The dusty, building tannins spread out horizontally to coat the palate. (ST)
Spices, milk chocolate, and berry aromas follow through to a full body with a solid core of fruit and a sweet tobacco, raisin and spice finish. Flavors of tea and herbs develop with some air. Pull the cork after 2013.
From a valley floor vineyard, the opaque purple-hued 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon John C. Sullenger Vineyard offers up restrained aromas of subtle smoke, graphite and black fruits. More narrowly constructed and tannic, it is among the most backward wines in this portfolio, possessing a Bordeaux-like structure and flavor profile. It requires 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 20-25 years. 91+ (RP)
From the vineyard surrounding the Nickel & Nickel winery in Oakville, this grows on the valley floor just north of the Oakville Crossroad and east of 29. It's a floral Cabernet with scents of roses and hints of green. The cherry flavors fill out a fleshy texture, while tart, sanguine tannins provide a touch of bitterness to balance the fruit. This needs several years in the cellar to meld.
As delicate as Napa Cab gets, with a subtlety missing in so many other wines. The nose is reticent, the flavours of mannered blackberry and cherry, with a strong graphite streak. Medium-full-bodied and understated, this is a Cal Cab that will show its stuff in the future. 18/20 points (LM)
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