On the valley floor, with an almost Châteauneuf du Pape layer of small stones, is the Aida Estate, one of my favorite vineyards just north of St. Helena. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Aida Estate is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc aged 20 months in three-fourths new French oak. The good news is that there are 800 cases of this magnificent wine, with a somewhat Graves-like scorched-earth, charcoal, burning ember-scented nose, with notes of hot earth, blackberry and cassis fruit. Big, full-bodied, exuberant and rich, this thick, unctuously textured, purple wine should drink beautifully for 25-30 or more years. (RP)
A huge, bombastic wine, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Aida Estate hits the palate with notable density and pure power. Bittersweet chocolate, espresso, torrefaction and dark stone fruits abound. Flashy and opulent, the 2013 is built on a core of massively extracted fruit. This warm site on the northern edge of St. Helena leans towards opulence, something the winemaking seeks to accentuate. (AG)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)