An absolutely spectacular showing for Cardinale in 2005, their Proprietary Red is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot that comes in at 14.7% natural alcohol. It is aged 20 months in 100% new French oak and bottled unfiltered by winemaker Chris Carpenter. He sources the fruit from Jackson Family vineyards such as the Veeder Peak Vineyard and the Keyes Vineyard on Howell Mountain and several other sites elsewhere in Napa. In that sense, it’s a cross-Napa Valley blend. A beautiful nose of pure kirsch liqueur as well as crème de cassis jump from the glass of this opaque purple wine. The fabulous fragrance is followed by an equally compelling, full-bodied, opulently textured mouthfeel. The wine has incredible length of a good 45 seconds. It is voluptuously textured, gorgeously pure and fruity, and already strutting its stuff. It should continue to evolve for at least another 10-15 years. (RP)
A perfect balance of the rich and the vibrant, this is textbook Napa Valley cabernet. It's blended from vineyards on Mt. Veeder, Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, Spring Mountain and Oakville (To Kalon). The flavors layer black currant and black cherry with redder fruit tones and floral notes. Remarkably, it maintains that detail and freshness even with the youthful potency of its structure and the aggressive power of its extract; you can virtually see the tannin dripping down the sides of the glass. A lovely young wine to decant for Kobe beef, this has the stamina for aging ten years or more.
Cardinale is a blend from mostly mountain sites in Napa, but always with a proportion of valley-floor fruit blended in to give greater approachability. There's very little perceptible evolution in colour here. The nose is both opulent and vibrant, while the palate remains velvety and suave. The tannins are very ripe, and new oak still dominates the mid-palate. The finish is long, spicy, and chocolatey. Jackson Family Wines founded the label in 1982 and its winemaker since 2001 has been Chris Carpenter. (SB)
2007 Larkmead Vineyards "Premiere Napa Valley" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $300)
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