The unfiltered/unfined 1998 Jericho Canyon Vineyard (2,850 cases) spent 16 months in French oak. A sensational effort, it is one of the stars of this challenging vintage. The opaque black/plum color is accompanied by aromas and flavors reminiscent of a blend of Cheval Blanc and La Mission-Haut-Brion from an overripe vintage. Notes of plums, cassis, blackberries, espresso, Asian spices, licorice, cedar, and tapenade make an appearance in both the aromas and flavors. Extremely full-bodied, with sweet tannin, an opulent/voluptuous texture, full body, brilliant purity, and low acidity, this wine represents a synthesis in style between an exotic right bank Bordeaux and a California Cabernet. Having achieved 14.2% alcohol naturally, it is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc from a vineyard in northern Napa Valley (the Rudd estate vineyards have not yet come into production). (RP)
A bold, rich and creamy-textured wine, with coffee, currant, black cherry, herb, olive and cedar. Deftly balanced, long and intricate on the finish. New from the owner of the former Girard winery. (JL)
Ruby-red. Wild plum, truffle, tar and a floral nuance on the nose. At once lush and high-pitched, with concentrated but rather tightly wrapped black fruit, coffee and herbal flavors. Not especially fleshy, but not green; has considerable charm for a wine from the '98 vintage. Finishes with big but even tannins that showed a slight dryness with aeration, and very good length. (ST)
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