The 2011 Cardinale is another of the many exceptional wines I tasted with Chris Carpenter this year. The 2011 is beautiful and exceptionally polished, but at the same time, the flavors are beautifully defined, crystalline in their beauty and flat-out striking. In this vintage, Cardinale is all about finesse and persistence, with less volume than some previous versions, but a touch more aromatic refinement. Today the 2011 is a bit compact, but I expect it to gain texture with more time in bottle. The blend is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot from vineyards on Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain, Diamond Mountain, the St. Helena bench and a small parcel in Yountville adjacent to Blankiet. (AG)
Bright ruby-red. Classic cabernet sauvignon aromas of cassis, blackberry, bitter chocolate, coffee, shoe polish and mint. At once rich and suave, showing lovely purity and early sex appeal to the sappy flavors of blackberry, blueberry, dark chocolate, minerals and licorice. The broad finish features sweet tannins and lingering minerality. Winemaker Chris Carpenter gets first pick of Jackson Family Wines' Napa Valley cabernet, and his objective is to make a wine with early attractiveness. This one is especially lovely in the context of its vintage. (ST)
Winemaker Christopher Carpenter, who is also responsible for the wines of Lokoya, has fashioned an opaque ruby/purple-colored 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon offering notes of black cherries, black currants, and spicy oak, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, low acidity and light but sweet tannin. Another strong effort in this challenging vintage, it should drink well for 10-12 years. Cardinale’s Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot aged in 90% new French oak, has always been one of the most impressive offerings from the Kendall-Jackson portfolio. (RP)
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