This was one of the most controversial wines in my tastings. Several tasters whined that the wine's herbal, sweet, cedary, coffee, chocolatey, jammy cassis character was too exaggerated and obvious. The wine is silky and voluptuous, a la a great Pomerol, and is beginning to reveal some amber/orange hues in its murky, deep garnet color. It is an interesting, provocative, extremely complex and well-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon that offers many more facets than the mainstream toasty new oak/blackcurrant school of California Cabernet Sauvignon winemaking. It appears to have reached full maturity, but my experience suggests most Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 offerings surprise their critics by possessing much greater longevity than such flashy, flamboyant wines usually do. This exotic wine will undoubtedly drink well for 10-15 more years. What does this wine taste like? Imagine taking twenty different dishes from an Asian restaurant, several bottles of barbecue sauce, a block of Valrhona chocolate, throwing all of them into a cuisinart, and then adding to this concoction several glasses of black-raspberry and grape juice. I loved it! (RP)
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