Connoisseurs' Guide to California WinesAlthough it may not satisfy those seeking keenly defined fruit, this big, broad-beamed offering has richness and substance to spare, and its many-layered flavors reveal a healthy dose of ripe black cherries, lavish oak, distinct elements of chocolate and a careful hint of complexing herbaceousness. Nuance, however, is not its forte, and its ample underpinning of tannin reminds that it is a wine meant for extended keeping and service with hearty, full-flavored foods.
International Wine CellarBright, full medium ruby. Subdued but highly complex nose melds black raspberry, blueberry, plum, licorice, mocha, leather and tar. Offers compelling sweetness and density, with sharply focused flavors of black fruits, minerals and roast coffee, but comes across as less expressive today than the merlot, and still tight on the back half. But a wine of outstanding breadth and persistence, deeper and sweeter than the 2000. Tannins are substantial but quite fine.