The 2001 Reserve Claret (an intriguing blend of 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot) is a massive mountain wine possessing both power and elegance. Its dense saturated ruby/purple color is followed by youthful aromas of creme de cassis, new saddle leather, toasty oak, crushed rocks and spring flowers. Extremely young, vigorous, full-bodied and multidimensional, this is a layered, supple textured wine with enormous fruit and richness as well as a tremendously long finish. One of the most impressive high elevation wines made in northern California, it is capable of lasting another 15-20 years. 96+ (RP)
Deep Ruby-Red. Knockout nose combines roasted black raspberry, cassis, espresso & bitter chocolate. Sweet, fat and deep, with extravagantly rich, seamless flavors of dark berries and chocolate. Not as sweet as the Mountaintop merlot but even larger scaled. The finish shows more obvious Cabernet tannins and considerable sweet oak, but has more than enough powerful, palate staining fruit. As a potential purchase, this is a no-brainer for collectors who can find and afford it. (ST)
A serious and exciting Merlot blend that delivers the goods, with rich, concentrated layers of currant, blackberry, mocha and wild berry, this sharply focused, intensely flavored wine shows off lots of complexity, depth and length, a mix of power and finesse. (JL)
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