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The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a powerful, black ruby/purple-colored wine with cherry liqueur-like flavors, full body, loamy, earthy scents, and a terrific, long finish that suggests 20-30 years of ageability.Robert Parker | 94 RPOpenly fruity and seductive, with layers of cherry, currant and berry; extraordinary flavors and balance.--Chateau Montelena vertical. Drink now through 2012. — JLWine Spectator | 92 WSGood ruby-red. Spicy, roasted aromas of cassis, black plum, toasty oak and pepper. Lush, jammy and a bit undifferentiated; showing its baby fat today. Seems distinctly less lively than the ’95, but the tannins are quite fine for the vintage and there excellent finishing persistence.Vinous Media | 90 VM
There are 10,200 cases of the remarkable 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. Opaque purple-colored with a dense, chewy, full-bodied personality, it displays abundant cassis, mineral, and earth notes. This brilliantly made, super-concentrated, pure, blockbuster possesses sweet tannin as well as a terrific finish. Having added additional weight since last year, this sumptuous, multilayered, profoundly concentrated Cabernet contains 14% alcohol. It is a candidate for 25-30 years of longevity. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2030.Robert Parker | 98 RPThis California Cab serves up lots of ripe, supple black cherry, currant and plum-laced flavors, as well as pretty touches of earth, anise and mineral. Turns smooth and supple, finishing with polished tannins. Best from 2001 through 2015. 11,700 cases made. — JLWine Spectator | 95 WSGood medium-dark red with a healthy rim. Sexy red berry aromas are lifted by exotic spices and complicated by notes of smoke and leather (Barrett noted that this vintage showed a brett element early on but today the leathery nuance is just another note of complexity in the wine, as it was in a sample I tried two years ago as part of my 1997 horizontal tasting.) The palate delivers a lovely combination of sweetness and silky, fine-grained texture, with tactile raspberry and redcurrant fruit delivering surprising freshness and energy. Not hugely concentrated or thick but finishes broad and deep, with a firm tannic spine to support continued graceful evolution. Barrett noted that he was back to "moderate maceration--just two weeks" in 1997, and that this was the first year that he hand-harvested his fruit at night. (14% alcohol)Vinous Media | 93 VM
A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 1997 is just short of perfection from this great vintage in Napa Valley. A spectacular wine, it was the first made by Rosemary Cakebread. Production was quite high, as the new plantings started to fully produce, with 4,800+ cases declared. This is wine that fills the olfactory senses with gorgeous ripeness, blueberries, black raspberries, blackberries and cassis, while spring flowers and a touch of oak still lingers in the aromatics. When the wine hits the palate, the extraordinary intensity, purity and multi-dimensional complexity all seem to converge with a cascade of fruit, glycerin and richness. Like most Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignons, it is only 13.8% alcohol. This is a magnificent wine, a young adolescent in the scheme of its potentially fascinating evolution and should have a good 25-30+ years left in it – although it’s strutting its stuff at present. Certainly in the first two decades of Spottswoode wines this is clearly one of the most compelling efforts.Robert Parker | 98 RPDeep, bright ruby. Very ripe but reduced nose shows a chocolatey ripeness to the primary flavors of cassis, blueberry and licorice. Densely packed and powerful, conveying a tactile texture to the sweet flavors of black fruits, tobacco and spice cake. Firm acidity gives clarity and definition to the middle palate of this very concentrated wine. Finishes savory, deeply spicy and firmly tannic, with terrific length and grip. Considerably fresher and better balanced than a bottle I tasted for my Spottswoode vertical last year.Vinous Media | 94 VMElegantly framed, with rich, appealing herb, currant, chocolate and black cherry flavor that’s complex and concentrated, finishing with firm, well-integrated tannins. Best from 2002 through 2010. 4,826 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS
Lovely, expressive notes of juicy grapefruit and ripe pear, toast and oak spice make an appearance but the cask ageing is very well integrated. The overall impression is of a consummate balance between richness and freshness, with another layer of firm underlying acidity too, and the wine lingers enticingly. As consultant Dominique Lafon notes: ‘Our better wines are not the bigger. Our selection is on refinement.’ Drinking Window 2020 - 2030.Decanter | 96 DECThis sleek yet rich wine is packed with ripe citrus, Honeycrisp apple, peach and pineapple tones. Barrel fermented and aged in 40% new oak, it showcases spectacular fruit on the palate that is softened by creamy, lightly toasty barrel flavors.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEPale yellow. Mineral-accented nectarine, orange, Anjou pear, iodine and white flowers on the intensely perfumed nose. Smooth, fleshy and dry in the mouth, offering concentrated orchard and pit fruit flavors complemented by suggestions of fennel, sweet butter and candied lemon peel. Shows excellent depth as well as energy and finishes minerally, smoky and impressively long, featuring lingering citrus and pit fruit notes. 40% new oak.Vinous Media | 94 VMNo written review provided | 94 W&SA wine that unfurls slowly with impressive results. Multilayered kiwi, green apple and stony mineral accents build structure and richness on a lingering finish. Drink now through 2022. 1,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS
Glistening ruby-red. Mineral- and spice-accented red berry and cherry aromas are complemented by cola and floral nuances. Silky and appealingly sweet, offering vibrant raspberry, cherry and rose pastille flavors braced by a building mineral quality. Shows fine definition and floral lift on the energetic, persistent finish, which is framed by smooth, well-knit tannins. 15% whole clusters and 30% new French oak.Vinous Media | 93 VMThere’s an expert level of restraint on the nose of this bottling, with aromas of rose hips, fennel, damp soil and strawberry. There’s a great herbal display on the palate, with marjoram and tarragon accents, as well as crisp and deliciously tart flavors of plum skin and red currant.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEFrom some great sites, the 2018 Pinot Noir Estate is all varietal, aged 14 months in 30% new French oak and bottled without filtration. More raspberries, toasted spice, forest, and floral notes emerge from the glass. It’s medium-bodied, elegant, and lively on the palate, with good depth and moderate length.Jeb Dunnuck | 90 JD(Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir - Estate Red) Floral and mentholated top notes add breadth to the pretty red pinot, plum and softly spiced aromas. There is excellent volume to the delicious, vibrant and solidly powerful medium-bodied flavors that possess a seductive mid-palate while delivering fine length on the bitter cherry pit-inflected finish. This is presently pretty compact and while it could be enjoyed now, I would advise holding it for 4 to 6 years first. Lovely. (Drink starting 2025)Burghound | 90 BH
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label is built around a core of fruit from Leopoldina, with about 30% of the fruit from Fortuna. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, new leather and spice build in a potent, explosive Cabernet that hits all the right notes. In 2019, the Black Label is a real head turner. The flamboyant style offers tons of immediacy that will make the 2019 pretty hard to resist right out of the gate.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGA barrel-selection of the vintage, this wine stuns in its dynamic of power and elegance, revealing layers of dried herb, sage and violet around a core of seamless tannin. Dark chocolate, graphite and cassis are met by an undercurrent of darker berry and oak spice, with a refined, structured finish. This will do well in the cellar; enjoy best 2029–2039.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEDeep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label needs swirling to reveal notes of blackcurrant jelly, blackberry preserves and boysenberries, plus hints of cedar, lilacs, unsmoked cigars and crushed rocks.The medium to full-bodied palate is delicately styled and refreshing, featuring elegant layers and a long and mineral-laced finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RPDelivers a serious core of warmed cassis, macerated plum and black cherry puree flavors that move in lockstep, carried by a graphite spine and flanked with judicious apple wood and alder. Very solidly built. Best from 2023 through 2035. 1,529 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSHarvested at a minuscule yields from a vineyard planted in 1975, then aged 17 months in one-third new French oak. With a bit of aeration the youthful, concentrated aromas open to reveal opulent plum, spice, orange zest and pine forest accents. The palate offers juicy black cherry and more plum, mulled wine spices and powdery tannins, with crushed stone minerality and elegant cedar oak tinged with dark chocolate. There’s a distinct salinity to this wine which refreshes through the long finish. Drinking Window 2021 - 2035 Decanter | 95 DECAromas of ripe blackberries, cooked dark cherries, earth, chocolate and sweet spices. Full body with plush tannins. Rich and creamy with lots of black fruit on the mid-palate and a compact finish. Try after 2023.James Suckling | 92 JS
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