Pretty much as good as Napa Cabernet gets. Shows the blackberries, black currants, blueberries and spicy plums of Oakville and scads of spices, and the tannin-acid structure is, in a word, superb. The oak elaboration is just about perfect, adding a tasteful layer of smoky, buttered toast. The finish goes on and on.
The second release of Figgins—a single wine produced by Leonetti’s Chris Figgins—is astonishing. Tasted in a lineup of exceptional Walla Walla reds, it outshined them all. It’s a sophisticated blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot, from the Figgins Vineyard, with gorgeous aromas of flowers, spices and black fruits. Seamless and long, complex and…
So enormously delicious, it will be hard to keep from drinking this gorgeous Cabernet right away, and that’s just fine. It’s composed of the most intensly concentrated flavors of blueberries and blackberries—dense, pure and slightly heady with a liqueur-like alcohol. The tannins are classic Diamond Mountain, firm and minerally, while oak plays the perfect role of…
A tremendous achievement in Merlot. The vineyard, around 1,600 feet up on Mt. Veeder, is now owned by the Jackson family, and the winemaker is Chris Carpenter, who oversees Cardinale. In fact, this Merlot bears an uncanny resemblance to Cardinale in the dramatically ripe, sweet fruit and superb, tannin-based structure. It’s 100% Merlot, with hefty yet balanced…
Oh, how good this sweetie is. If you have just one white dessert wine this year, make it this rich, thick, unctuous wine, with its fabulous flavors of apricot marmalade, orange honey, pineapple, chutney, smoke, vanilla, toast, toasted hazelnut, the list goes on and on. Fills the mouth with velvety opulence, and finishes very long. A special wine of great distinction.
Dark as night, pure as silk, and rich as a sultan. This one wine defines the best of the new wave; a great high-end product from a perfect vintage. It’s intense, spicy, racy and still soft enough to wrap yourself around. Licorice, crushed peppercorn, chocolate, espresso and blackberry are just some of what you can pull from this baby. Cellar a few years then explore.
Oaky. A bit backward, closed. Lots of primary fruit varietal character in the aroma. Coffee, smoke, ash, cedar. In the mouth, potent blackcurrants, cassis, massive middle. Wonderful tannins, rich, ripe, sweet. The finish is long and intense. 2006-2020.
Fresh asphalt, burning timber, bitter chocolate, and anything else that connotes “darkness” is what this heavyweight is about. And as rough as that may sound aromatically, on the palate it’s polished like a gemstone, with just enough grit and guts to push it forward. The fruit, meanwhile, is sensational, a panoply of black plums and cherries infused with cocoa and…