Striking in its impressions of winemaking polish right from the start with a fine fit of lively, very deep fruit and sympathetic sweet oak, the 2010 Quintessa hits all the right varietal marks and earns an extra tip of the hat for its altogether impeccable sense of balance. It is so refined and tasty, in fact, that we can see how it will surely tempt early drinking, but, like all top-level Cabernet Sauvignons, it will show much more with age, and we urge that it be allowed to rest for no fewer than six to eight years.
Takes on a lot of chocolate, walnut and herb aromas. Full-bodied, layered and very juicy and savory. Toasted oak, coffee and tobacco. Delicious finish. Holding on nicely.
The 2010 Proprietary Red Wine will be re-released as a library wine this year. It is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Carménère aged for 20 months in 85% new French oak. Medium to deep garnet colored, it sings of potpourri, fallen leaves, underbrush, baking fruits and sandalwood over a core of redcurrant jelly, Black Forest cake and wild sage with wafts of beef drippings and iron ore. Medium-bodied, the elegant, spicy fruit slides seductively over the palate with a gentle grip of grainy tannins, finishing on a provocative ferrous note. (LPB)
As luscious and luxurious as this wine may be, it has transparency to its flavors and a cool feel that keeps the fruit feeling fresh rather than superripe. The core of the blend comes from the center of this 280-acre estate, where the soils are gravel over rhyolite. The vineyards are planted on a series of hills between the Silverado Trail and the Napa River; the eastern hills of the property are white volcanic ash over rhyolite and the western side of the property is the kind of alluvial soil that’s more typical of Rutherford. Charles Thomas culled more than 10 percent of the fruit to diminish the impact of the heat wave in 2010 and ended with a finely ripened wine with the flavor of fat black cherries. The fruit meets firm, precise tannins in a dark and spicy Cabernet with drive. For roast duck.
(92% Cabernet Sauvignon with 3% Merlot, 2% each Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, and 1% Carmenere): Good bright, deep red. Perfumed aromas of raspberry, currant, fresh herbs, sage, tobacco leaf and flowers; downright claret-like. Broad and nicely high-pitched on the palate, with complex red fruit, spice, tobacco and herb flavors lifted by graphite minerality. This highly aromatic wine really spreads out and resounds on the back end. The building tannins are firm and a bit peppery, but the finish is pliant and sweet. A very successful vintage for this flagship bottling. (ST)
Pure, rich and supple, with a mix of mocha, dark berry, cedar and black licorice notes, all coming together on the finish. The tannins keep the reverberating flavors in check. (JL)
Smells focused, if that is possible. Refined and fresh with some red fruit character. Dark oak spice but the texture is ultra-refined and fine grained. Finely textured rather than velvety. Tight and yet lively. (JH) 17.5/20 points
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