A tiny production (674 cases) of the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon 29 Estates is pure, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the famous Richard Grace clone of Cabernet Sauvignon. It had a 44-day maceration before the wine was aged 19 months in 90% new French oak. This wine performed better at ten years than it did initially. The dense, ruby/purple color remains youthful and younger than one would expect for a 10-year-old wine. The opaqueness goes right to the rim, the aromatics are stunning, and it offers a gorgeous display of blueberry, black raspberry and creme de cassis along with licorice, a touch of vanilla and graphite. This is one of the great superstars of 2005, which I underrated it from barrel as well as after it was released. It still has at least another 15-20 years of aging potential.
(blended with 9% Cabernet Franc) Good ruby-red. Claret-like aromas of blackcurrant, licorice, minerals, menthol and flowers, with some redder fruit notes emerging with aeration. Sweet, lush and deep, with harmonious acidity framing and intensifying the flavors of dark fruits, mocha, minerals and mint. Pliant, sweet and long on personality. Finishes with serious but fully ripe tannins, excellent breadth and enticing minerality. This is a rich, full style: the lots in 2005 macerated up to 45 days, compared to a more normal 30 days in past vintages. (ST)
(14.8% alcohol): Bright, saturated ruby-red. Deep, showy nose combines blackberry, black raspberry, plum, licorice, flowers and black olive. Compellingly silky, plush, dense wine with terrific breadth and medicinal reserve--not to mention lovely inner-mouth lift--to its currant, licorice and mocha flavors. Finishes aromatic and very long, with firm but nicely buffered tannins and a whiplash of flavor. This impeccably balanced beauty, which I've rated very highly since the outset, is already quite sexy but still has a long life ahead of it. This was current winemaker Keith Emerson's first vintage at Vineyard 29; it was a year with huge quantity and high quality, he told me, as well as one of the latest harvests ever for this estate (October 24 through 27), which normally benefits from extended hang time. (ST)
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