A close second (and who knows how they might perform at different times and with different foods) is the 2012 Cariad Proprietary Red Wine, made from grapes grown by David Abreu at his estate vineyards in Napa. This blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 9% Petit Verdot shows notes of burning embers/charcoal, blackberry fruit, licorice and floral notes, followed by a full-bodied, dense, layered wine. It has great purity, wonderfully sweet, integrated tannin, and a voluptuous mouthfeel and finish of close to 50+ seconds. (RP)
Intense aromas of mushroom, earth and dried flowers follow through to a full body with juicy, rich and ripe tannins and a beautiful austerity. Very contrasty and structured. Balanced and powerful. Needs a lot of time to soften.
A dark, vibrant wine, the 2012 Cariad races out of the glass with serious intensity. The Cariad has a bit more acid and tannin backbone than the Tychson Hill, which gives the flavors a bit more energy and overall brightness to balance the opulence of the fruit. Graphite, spice and menthol notes flesh out on the finish. Cariad is sourced mostly from David Abreu's Madrona Ranch, with a dollop of fruit from Thorevilos. Historically, Cariad has aged exceptionally well, something that was driven home yet again by the 2002 I tasted on this visit. (AG)
Combines power and finesse, with an initial burst of chunky, chewy, extracted dark berry, cedar, lead pencil and savory herb flavors. Finishes strong and tannic, in a pleasant way. (JL)
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