The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow is made up of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black colored, it sashays out of the glass with beautifully provocative black cherries, blueberry compote and warm cassis scents followed by candied violets, molten chocolate, licorice and fallen leaves plus hints of black olives and lavender. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals explosive energy wrapped in a silken carpet of exquisitely fine-grained tannins, finishing with amazing freshness and perfume. Gorgeous. (LPB)
Black-licorice and blackberry aromas with hints of iron and hot stone. Full-bodied, dense and layered with a soft, succulent feel. Juicy and delicious aftertaste. Drink or hold.
Graphite, smoke, grilled herbs, lavender, licorice, black cherry and plum are some of the many notes that run through the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow. Savory and virile in feel, the 2016 boasts tremendous nuance and tons of pure character. Here, too, the new oak is a bit prominent in the early going. The oak needs time to settle down, but that should not be a problem in the long run, as the wine seems to have the underlying depth to handle it. (AG)
Slightly more open than either of its two mates at this point and very arguably the most polished of the bunch, this year’s Gravelly Meadow is a Cabernet of considerable depth and refinement with abundant cassis and black cherry fruit neatly teamed with deftly fit oak. Despite being fairly supple in feel and relatively easy to taste at the moment, it is has the stamina to age famously, and, if likely to reach its peak a bit sooner than its Red Rock Terrace sibling, it very much deserves to be laid away and allowed to reach its full, multi-layered potential some six to ten years in the future.
An old-school European style with a great nose of toffee, mocha with blackcurrants and dried herbs. Grippy structure and fresh acidity; this is a youthful wine that will age gracefully. Grown in the soils of a prehistoric river bed, these gravels drain well and the vine’s roots to penetrate deeply. (RS)
Broad and deep, with dark plum and blackberry preserve flavors rolling along, lined with ganache and roasted alder notes. Savory, bay leaf and tobacco hints flitter in the background, adding energy, texture and detail. Will need some time. (JM)
As the 2016 Diamond Creek Cabernets emerge from several years of rest in barrels and bottles, it’s Volcanic Hill that shows the best and brightest. “There’s a volcanic-soil character adding texture to the palate, with less grape and oak tannins and more minerality” said Ryan Bailey of NoMad LA, comparing it to the other top cabernets of the tasting. It’s an elegant vintage of Volcanic Hill, a cabernet of high-intensity fruit that calms to cool red- and black-currant generosity. Crushed-mineral tannins seem to clarify the fruit, bringing out the light and air in the wine, so that it ends on an impression of blue skies. (JG)
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