A notch up on the richness scale, yet still impeccably balanced and light on the palate, the 2011 Estate Cuvee is 48% Syrah, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Petit Verdot. Deep, rich and layered, with thrilling cassis, blackberry, lead pencil, spice, spring flowers and smoke, it flows onto the palate with awesome purity, a straight focused profile and sweet tannin that emerge through the mid-palate and finish. This is not a blowsy, overdone effort, and is seamless and incredibly drinkable. It needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will have 15-20 years of longevity. (JD)
Saturated ruby. A sexy, highly perfumed bouquet displays dark berry preserves, lavender, incense and smoky Indian spices. Smooth, palate-staining blueberry and floral pastille flavors show outstanding depth and energy, thanks to bright acidity and a peppery spice nuance. A zesty mineral note comes up on the strikingly long finish, which features supple tannins and a hint of allspice. I also had the chance to re-visit the superb 2010 version of this bottling at a dinner Paso Robles and it is showing beautifully, with exotic dark berry and floral pastille character and tannins that are harmonizing far more quickly than I'd have imagined. Maybe I just caught the wine in an extroverted phase but I found it almost shockingly drinkable, not to mention flat-out delicious. (JD)
Blackberry jam, cassis, savory herbs, cloves, lavender and new leather are some of the notes that jump from the glass in the 2011 Estate Cuvée. The high percentage of Petit Verdot in this vintage, along with the nature of the cool growing season, gives the 2011 a sense of energy and tannic backbone to balance the opulent, full-throttle fruit. The finish is layered, nuanced and crystalline. The 100% new oak barrels are very nicely balanced. (AG)
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