Even better, and seriously underrated by me last year, is the 2008 Dancing Hares. A blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, production is 525 cases of this exceptionally opulent, intense wine with an inky bluish purple color and a glorious noise of creosote, camphor, and blueberry pie intermixed with acacia flowers, forest floor and black currants. The compelling aromatics are easily backed up by a full-bodied wine buttressed by sweet tannin and fresh acids, giving it a laser-like precision. This is slightly better than the 2007, which is somewhat of an anomaly, and has great texture and suppleness. Drink this now or cellar it for 20+ years.
Rich and powerful, yet graceful and detailed, exhibiting tiers of complex flavors built around rich blackberry, blueberry and wild berry flavors, with roasted herb, tar and smoke touches. Full-bodied and supple in texture, ending with a long, pure, persistent finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2012 through 2023. (JL)
Rich, vital and dramatically layered, offering tiers of ripe cherry and blackberry flavors. The oak is sweetly toasted and fine. Based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this is framed with firm mountain tannins that make it ageworthy. The first bottle tasted was off. Drink now—with a long decanting—through 2020. *Cellar Selection*
(a blend of 45% cabernet sauvignon, 31% cabernet franc, 20% merlot and 4% petit verdot; this five-acre vineyard featuring volcanic soil and shale fragments at the foot of Howell Mountain, in one of the warmest parts of Napa Valley, was planted in 1999 and 2000 and is farmed by David Abreu): Highly aromatic nose offers cherry, blueberry, mocha, stone and enticing floral lift. Juicy and pretty in the mouth, with penetrating red and darker fruit flavors complicated by sage and licorice. Not hugely dense but floral and enticing. The mouthwatering finish features very fine-grained tannins and lingering perfume. A sexy, juicy blend, and a good example of how a warm site can shine in a cool year.
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