Similar in style to the 1996, the 1995 reveals an opaque purple color, remarkably sweet tannin for a wine from this vintage, and gorgeous levels of black currant fruit nicely complemented by toast, smoke, and floral scents. This rich, medium to full-bodied wine fills the mouth without any sense of heaviness or harshness. It is a beautifully knit, lush, complex, elegant red wine ... The wines from this superbly situated hillside vineyard on the lower slopes of Howell Mountain are going from strength to strength. Proprietor Delia Viader believes in blending these wines with a relatively high percentage of Cabernet Franc. In most vintages, the proportion of Cabernet Franc is close to 50%, with the balance Cabernet Sauvignon. Improvements noticeable in both the 1995 and 1996 (and for that matter that 1994) have included richer mid-palates, and less aggressive oak and acidity. (RP)
Dark medium red. Alluring perfumed aromas of cassis, licorice and violet, plus hints of cocoa powder, peppery herbs and minerals and a leafy whiff of Cabernet Franc. Quite dry and juicy, with the violet and mineral notes accenting the plum and currant fruit. Boasts lovely mid-palate energy and definition. Finishes with firm, fine-grained tannins and excellent rising length. One of the most floral of these 1995s--and more backward and energetic than the 2004 was a year ago. I'm not sure that this slightly tight midweight will loosen up further but it's an elegant drink today. (ST)
Excellently situated at 450m on a well drained site on Howell Mountain, Viader's Cabernet blend (heavily dependent on Cabernet Franc - 47 per cent in this case) is always eloquent. Treacly yet delicate. Deep in both colour and intensity with a strong mineral undertow and admirable structure despite its relative age. 18.5/20 points. (JR)
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