The “Altitude 2292” from Big Basin Vineyards is a ripe, but measured wine, coming in listed at 14.2 percent octane. The cépages here is forty-four percent cabernet sauvignon, thirty-eight percent merlot, eight percent cabernet franc, six percent malbec and four percent petit verdot, so this is a Bordeaux-inspired blend that includes all the major varieties found on the Gironde. It includes forty-two percent whole clusters this year and was raised in one-third new oak. The wine delivers a complex and youthful bouquet of cassis, dark berry, cigar ash, a fine base of dark soil tones, a hint of the chipotle pepper to come with bottle age and a discreet base of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full and still fairly primary, with a good core of fruit, firm, ripe tannins and fine focus and grip on the long and complex finish. This wine is built for the cellar and needs a good eight to ten years to start to stir, but it should prove to be excellent once it has started to soften up and blossom. (Drink between 2027-2065)
The 2016 Altitude 2292 is a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot-based blend from a high-altitude site in the Gabilan Mountains. Bright red fruit, mint and wild flowers give this mid-weight Bordeaux blend terrific freshness and verve that builds through to the persistent, nuanced finish. (AG)
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