Full medium ruby. Knockout aromas of black raspberry, dark chocolate, minerals and wild herbs, plus a hint of menthol; suggests a more even ripening of the grapes than the 2011. Boasts an outstanding combination of fruit depth and energy, displaying superb intensity to the silky, mineral-driven flavors of raspberry, sage and forest floor. A real essence of western Oakville soil. Finishes with great slow-building length and lift, the ripe tannins perfectly supported by fruit. This is likely to be more pliant on release than the splendid though relatively austere 2010 was. (ST)
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon has filled out and put on considerable weight over the last year. Even with all of its overtness and intensity, the 2012 is far from accessible. This is one of the more primary 2012s readers will come across, so patience is going to be critical. Smoke, mocha, dark red cherry, menthol, licorice and savory notes flesh out on the racy, voluptuous finish. Drops of Petit Verdot make an appearance in the blend for the first time. Vine Hill Ranch's 2012 is one of the resounding successes of the vintage. (AG)
A glorious red with clay, tile, dark fruit and dusty texture. Full body, ripe tannins and a long and rich finish. Very, very long and intense. A beauty. Drink or hold.
The 2012 Vine Hill Ranch VHR exhibits the exuberance and boisterous characteristics of this vintage, with plenty of Christmas fruitcake, cedar wood, licorice, black currants galore, a stunningly full-bodied texture, purity, and opulence. Rich and dense, with soft tannins and relatively low acidity, this is a gorgeous wine to drink now and over the next 20+ years. (RP)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)