The 2011 Altagracia is round, sexy, supple and beautiful, especially within the context of the year. Sweet red berries, mint, tobacco, savory herbs and anise meld together in a distinctive wine long on personality. With time in the glass the wine fleshes out nicely, as the flavors become darker, richer and layered. Altagracia is a blend of mostly Eisele fruit, plus a bit of Vine Hill Ranch, a well-draining site in Oakville that is among Napa Valley's very best. The blend is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. (AG)
A wine with more focus and refinement than the 2010 with blueberry, mineral and slate character. Juicy and savory. Extremely well done for the second wine of Araujo. Iodine and stone.
Bright red-ruby. Deep aromas of dark berries, violet and caraway seed lifted by an impression of peppery acidity. Fresh and penetrating, showing good energy to the slightly medicinal flavors of kirsch, crushed berries and violet. Juicy but not green, finishing with dusty tannins and good length. This is very successful for a second wine from a tricky year. (ST)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)