Phil Freese joined the Lancaster team in 2009, consulting on viticulture at this 53-acre vineyard in southeastern hills of Alexander Valley. Jesse Katz was recruited by consulting winemaker David Ramey in 2010. They worked together on this polished, savory blend of five Bordeaux varieties (cabernets sauvignon and franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot). The fruit is explosive, a blast of cherry and blueberry, tamped down by the hillside tannins so it tastes ripe but not over the top. The fruit richness lasts, spiced by the tannins into an elegant length. Delicious to decant now and well suited to aging.
Lancaster Estate's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a huge, dark wine endowed with serious power and richness throughout. Grilled herbs, smoke, tobacco and incense all wrap around a serious, intense core of black fruit. A muscular, virile Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2009 needs another year or two in bottle to fully come together. Hints of graphite, menthol and road tar add further complexity. The 2009 is brooding and even a bit somber, but beautiful. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. I continue to be deeply impressed with Lancaster Estate. The winemaking team, headed by Jesse Katz and consulting winemaker David Ramey, is hitting all the right notes. The estate was sold to Bill Foley during the harvest of 2012, but hopefully things won't change too much. (AG)
*Cellar Selection* This is almost undrinkable now, despite its fantastically rich blackberry, blueberry and cassis flavors. The tannins are substantial, and the acidity sticks out like a squirt of lime juice. All of its elements are good, but it needs time--as much as a decade and possibly longer.
Tight in structure, with a core of ripe cherry and blackberry shaded by cedar and fresh earth. Comes to life midpalate, then veers toward chewy, tobacco-laced tannins. Best from 2014 through 2024. 4,058 cases made.
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