This is really a first-class Cabernet showing not only the beauty of the vintage but the blender’s craft. Drinkable now for its finely grained tannins and refined black currant and cassis flavors, it has the dry balance for the cellar. Elegant and sophisticated, it’s best now through 2008.
Dried-herb shadings add an extra touch of complexity to this dense wine that combines rich plum, mocha and earth elements. A big, bold Merlot that avoids being overblown by virtue of its strong undercurrent of acidity.
The aromas are very ripe and full, packed with sweet oak, blackberry jam, cassis, smoke and pepper. Not as concentrated as the enormous 1997, but round and harmonious and dry, with a spicy, long, peacock’s tail of a finish.
A brooding, intense nose of deep black fruits, violets and sweet leather opens to a full palate with fine fruit-to-acid balance. Black currant and earth flavors prevail, and the wine is more burly than plush. It closes with tart cherry and anise flavors. Good now, and better in two years; can drink to 2008.
Dark and aromatic, it displays clean, fresh plum, blackberry and cassis aromas, with a rich streak of earthiness. Drinks dry and nicely layered, with complex but negotiable tannins and a dense core of berry fruit. Lovely.
Similar to Benziger’s regular ’01 release (see note following), with a shade more richness and oak. The blackberry and herb flavors are enhanced by smoky vanilla, and the dusty tannins on the finish turn dry and puckery. It’s an elegant wine, not an opulent one, and should be good with steak.
Dark, dramatic, and showy, with smoke, blackberry, roasted coffee-bean, spice, tomato and sweet oak aromas. Rich, full-bodied and dry, with great depth of flavor. It has finesse, harmony and elegance.