(2011 Vintage) The nearly textbook conditions of 2012 presented very few challenges starting this almost ideal growing season with a mild spring, healthy bud break, steady flowering and even fruit set. Summer ushered in warm days and cool, frequently foggy, nights; Fall had beautiful warm temperatures, with very few heat spikes. The bountiful fruit enjoyed long, slow ripening resulting in highly developed and expressive flavors. Light rainfall arrived after we had harvested optimally ripe fruit. The 2012 vintage is marked by wines of exceptional balance, captivating aromatics and are succulent on the palate. Immensely enjoyable in their youth, these wines are cellar-worthy and will gratify for the long term.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California WinesSimply loaded with a complex array of smells ranging from ripe black cherry and dried plums to coffee, burnt toast, caramelized vanilla and a whiff of earthiness, this wine is equally unstinting on the palate where its wide open, ripe, rich flavors run headlong into coarseness born out of woody dryness and very prominent tannins. Charred oak and barky notes join the parade towards the finish and limit the wine's otherwise impressive reach while also imparting a rustic edge.
International Wine CellarRating: 88/100 - As reviewed by International Wine Cellar in Issue 96, May/June 2001. Dark ruby. Roasted cassis, licorice, bitter chocolate and exotic spices on the nose, along with a floral note. Juicy, bright cassis flavor shows a slightly jammy aspect. Good intensity but only moderate real depth of flavor. Finishes with slightly dry tannins. I don't find the density that a barrel sample displayed a year ago.
Wine SpectatorRating: 86/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator.