The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in 70% new French oak) is even better than I thought last year. This spectacular wine boasts notes of white chocolate, hot gravel, crème de cassis, blackberries, licorice and forest floor. A subtle smoky barbecue character is noticeable in the background. This is a thrilling, full-bodied, majestic Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 25-30 years, although its tannic structure suggests cellaring it for 2-5 years will be beneficial. (RP)
A wine with sliced mushroom, bark and spice plus berry and dark chocolate. Full body with forest flower, bramble, and light earth. Powerful and rich. A wonderful expression of Cabernet Sauvignon from here. Pure Cab. Available in November. Give it two or three years to soften. Try in 2017.
A broad, rich, expansive expression of dark berry, currant, espresso and mocha, this hits all the right notes, with touches of savory herb and tobacco leaf. Most impressive on the lingering finish, where the flavors run deep. Drink now through 2030. (JL)
Graphite, smoke, licorice, incense, game and black fruit race across the palate in the 2012 Solari. This is an especially explosive, structured wine for the vintage, with superb balance and the density to support years of exceptional drinking. Black cherries, plums, game and tobacco reappear on the huge finish. This is a rare 2012 that demands patience. 94+ points. (AG)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)