Good, rich Napa Cabernet. Has a purity of fruit and focus that appeals. Has classic flavors of blackcurrants and spice, fine, soft tannins in the modern style, and an overlay of oak adds smoke but does not overwhelm.— S.H.
There’s a lot of new, smoky oak on this wine, to judge from the burst of smoky caramel and vanilla, but the underlying fruit is big enough to carry it. Ripe blackberries, sweet, spicy plums, raw red meat, dark chocolate and espresso, white pepper and a hint of leather flood the mouth. The tannins are bigtime, and ageable.— S.H.
Seems to possess that mountain character of a tightly wound wine, tannic and firm, with a rich and solid core of black cherry and currant fruit. Those tannins are pretty fierce now, but should develop nicely. Best after 2008.— S.H.
Dark and red berry fruit with anise, mineral and mint accents marks this full, very even wine. The soft, slightly syrupy palate has eucalyptus, caramel and burnt-marshmallow flavors, while the tart, dry, peppery finish displays even tannins. Nicely structured, it will hold through mid-decade.— W.E.
Rowland’s Pinot has always had a heavy oak influence, but this year it seems toned down a bit, or maybe the fruit is ratcheted up a notch. Mixed red and black berries are framed by cinnamon and Asian spices in this silky, medium-weight offering.— J.C.
Smoky, meaty and spicy, this wine boasts plenty of oak influence. The red berry fruit is somewhat subdued, with the flavors centered on earth and spice. Though lean, the mouthfeel is admirably silky, and pretty cranberry shadings appear on the finish.— J.C.
From a Napa producer with an outpost in New Zealand. Australian-born Gerald Rowland’s wine has a lovely nose of cherries, beets, cola, and green herbs. But it doesn’t entirely fulfill that promise on the palate—the velvety cherries are there, but they’re overlaid by a persistent green stemminess that promises…— J.C.