Complex notes of meat, game, dried plum, black olive and dried Mediterranean herbs with a whiff of brett influence giving notes of sweaty saddles and a distinctive medicinal / band-aid character. The palate is nicely structured with a medium+ level of finely grained tannins and a crisp backbone of acidity fleshed out by an ample concentration of evolved fruit flavours. Long finish.
Seventeen inches of rain in March ended the prospect of a drought year. The growing season was extremely long and cool, producing a large crop and a late harvest. The vintage yielded wines of great structure, balance, and length, offering layers of flavor and a sweet middle palate.
Robert Parker(1997 Vintage) Rating: 88/100 - As reviewed by The Wine Advocate in Issue 132
International Wine Cellar(1997 Vintage) Rating: 89/100 - As reviewed by International Wine Cellar in Issue 96, May/June 2001 Medium bright ruby. Slightly sauvage aromas of cassis, dark chocolate, meat, leather and black pepper. Stylish and sweet, with moderately dense, creamy flavors of raspberry, roast meat and tobacco. Rather sophisticated texture for California wine. I would have scored this wine higher were it not for its slightly drying tannins, which did not soften even as the middle palate grew increasingly ...
Wine Spectator(1997 Vintage) Rating: 94/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator
International Wine Cellar(1996 Vintage) Rating: 92/100 - As reviewed by International Wine Cellar in Issue 90, May/June 2000. Bright full ruby-red. Pungent black raspberry, leather, game, chocolate, espresso, pepper and fresh herbs. Juicy, bright and very concentrated, with crunchy currant, tobacco and dark chocolate flavors supported and amplified by a firm spine of acidity. Long on personality. Finishes with dusty tannins and excellent length.
Wine Spectator(1995 Vintage)