Healthy dark color, wonderful youthful vitality. Rich mocha, chocolate, black cherry and spice flavors, elegant and polished, with softening tannins and dusty, cedary oak adding dimension. Excellent balance. (JL, Web Only-2002)
Bright medium red, showing remarkably little amber at the rim. Mellow nose offers aromas of raspberry, mocha, brown spices and sandalwood. Spicy and reasonably sweet, but with a slight acid edge giving shape to its red berry, spice and cocoa flavors; neither black in its flavor profile nor particularly ripe or thick. In fact, this distinctly juicy wine shows a texture more like Pinot Noir than Cabernet Sauvignon. Finishes with unusual rose petal lift and a firm spine of tooth-dusting tannins. I'm not sure I could have picked this blind as a mature Napa Valley Cabernet; perhaps the exotic American oak spiciness is partly responsible. There's nothing weighty or especially opulent about this alluring, distinctive wine: I pretended it was Burgundy and enjoyed the hell out of it. (ST)
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