(includes 1.5% cabernet franc) Good deep ruby. Lovely lift and purity to the aromas of cassis, violet and bitter chocolate. Juicy, vibrant and intense; less dense than the 2007 but more perfumed in the mid-palate. Very fine-grained wine, finishing long and aromatic, with firm tannic bite and a late note of bitter chocolate. "Two thousand eight was an impossible year to make 15% wines with a 4.0 pH in Napa Valley," said Bo Barrett, adding that "it's more fun to be working in the classical world. In 2008, there's less jam to block the terroir and minerality of the vineyard. Due to all the sunlight, we made cabernet jam in 2007, but the vineyard influence shows more clearly in 2008 and 2006." The estate purchased some small tanks for this vintage and thus the team was able to pick with more precision. Barrett also told me he backed off on the pumpovers, relying more on delestage (rack-and-return) for cap management.
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a gorgeous, mid-weight wine laced with mint, cassis, sweet herbs and tobacco. It is an understated, gracious wine from start to finish. This is a relatively approachable vintage for the Estate. It shows tons of finesse and mid-palate generosity while maintaining a medium-bodied personality. Today it is quite young, although it is drinking well. Readers who prefer more tertiary notes will want to cellar the wine for at least a few years. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028.
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