*Cellar Selection* This falls midway between the spectacular '08 and the elegant '07. Based on Cabernet Sauvignon, its grapes were grown in St. Helena. The wine shows softly lush tannins and deep, complex flavors of red fruit, berry, licorice, cocoa and mineral that easily stand up to 100% new French oak. Don't open it until at least 2018, and it should develop for many years afterward.
The 2009 Profile bursts on the palate with an exciting array of black fruit, smoke, tar, licorice and grilled herbs. It is a muscular wine endowed with considerable depth and richness, but despite its obvious size, all of the elements are in harmony. This big boy will need some cellaring, but it is beautiful. Profile is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. (AG)
Deep, dense and brooding with a curious bias to iron, dark soils and heavily roasted coffee in the nose, this strapping youngster finds fine fruity direction in its impressively extracted flavors. It is big and chunky and very solidly built, and it is roughed up by lots of varietal tannin, but what it delivers in the way of richness and depth more than makes up for its lack of immediate polish. It is a wine for the cellar and will take up to a decade to come around, but it has all of the pieces in place to make aging a very sure thing.
Exhibits a rich array of savory herb, dried dark berry, mocha, licorice, smoke and cedar flavors, gaining depth and richness and firming nicely on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2020.
A luscious Napa Valley blend, with perfumed red cherry and fragrant, herb-scented fruit enriched by oak. Barrel age has brought the texture to a generous smoothness, adding walnut tones to contrast the bright fruit. Ready to decant for filet mignon.
Bright, saturated ruby-red. Cassis, blackberry, licorice, coffee and mocha on the nose, plus a whiff of tarry oak. Silky on entry, then vinous and firm, with noteworthy verve to the flavors of dark berries, chocolate, tobacco leaf, minerals and herbs. Good primary, brooding Cabernet-based wine with serious tongue-dusting tannins and very good length. Should gain in texture and complexity over the next five to eight years. 90(+?) points.
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)