One is put on notice that this is going to be a special wine when it is first poured. It is an opaque, glass-staining black/crimson, soaked with color to the rim. A quick sniff reveals hedonistic aromas of concentrated cassis, blackberry, and a hint of blueberry – all cloaked by wood scents of cedar, cinnamon, clove, and black peppercorn. Thick and mouthfilling, showing youthful, furry tannins that grab a bit at the back. Black licorice flavors pop up on the afterflavor. This is a big wine made in the modern ripe, fruit-forward style that has come to define Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This is in contrast to the Claret style that made the winery a household name back in the 1970s and 1980s. Delicious now, this red will reward cellaring up to 20 years.
MSRP: $70 (October 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 92+