The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon 5500 is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Merlot bottled unfined and unfiltered after 18-20 months in oak. Futo practices long lees contact, five-day prefermentation cold soak and only one racking, which is when the barrels are racked directly into the tank prior to bottling. This is a stunning wine, and it was not easy to back off a perfect score, but maybe that will come with another several years of bottle age. The wine has profound intensity, amazing purity and clarity, an inky bluish/purple color, a stunning nose of spring flowers interwoven with crème de cassis, background charcoal, smoldering embers, and a full-bodied mouthfeel. It has an incredible lightness of being, despite its exceptional intensity and richness. This is an amazing wine and a great example of Stags Leap. It should drink well for 30+ years. (RP)
The 2012 5500 brings together the raciness of the vintage along with the precision and nuance that are such signatures of Stags Leap. Dark red cherry, mocha, plum, mint, pine and licorice flesh out as this sumptuous, deeply expressive Cabernet Sauvignon shows off its compelling personality. Sweet floral and mint notes add an attractive upper register of pure nuance. (AG)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)