Another new wine in 2012, the 2012 Fianchetto is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc and 22% Merlot, all from the XL Vineyard in Walla Walla. Its dark ruby, mostly opaque color is followed by a big, powerful and ripe 2012 that has loads of dark fruits, tobacco leaf, toasted spices, hints of lead pencil and a touch of graphite all soaring from the glass. Possessing tons of fruit, a big mid-palate and a heady, lengthy finish, this blockbuster effort will be even better in another 1-2 years, and drink admirably through at least 2027. (JD)
(the very windy XL Vineyard, planted in 2007, is located above Seven Hills Vineyard; the thick grape skins and tiny berries require careful extraction, according to Naravane, who matured this wine in 100% new French oak for 24 months and then moved it into neutral barrels for the final months of its élevage): Deep medium ruby. Musky aromas of black cherry, black raspberry and dark chocolate, along with a gravelly scorched-earth quality. Rich, thick and superconcentrated, showing surprising sweetness of fruit for such a firm, mineral-driven wine. Finishes with huge but ripe tannins that saturate the cheeks and linger with compelling sweetness. Captivating coffee and mocha notes give early personality to the finish but the wine's powerful medicinal reserve suggests that it will evolve very slowly in bottle. (ST) 91+
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