What a complex nose on this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cab Franc. The dominant aroma is a leathery, grilled meat scent, alongside charred oak. Blackberry tea and cherry flavors show up in the mouth, where it’s dry, with pure, soft tannins. It’s a bit disjointed now. A few years may bring things together.
There’s tremendous flavor in this wine, with its depth charges of blackberries and jammy currants, cherries and spicy plums and spiced coffee. The tannins are wonderfully smooth and intricate. It could be a little firmer in acids, though, because it’s very soft and melted.
Here’s a big, lush Cab, appealing now for its jammy blackberry, cherry, currant and chocolate flavors. But the tannins make for an unsettled astringency that needs rich meats to cut through. Fine now with complex beef dishes, but better after 2010.
What’s odd about this wine is how tough and tannic it is for the vintage, when so many wineries made supple, approachable wines. Possibly the grapes were picked too early, in fear of rain. Framed in considerable oak, with a chewy core of blackberries, it’s a cellar candidate. Give it a good seven years to soften and sweeten.
A first bottle was obviously off. A second was better, although still lacking the complexity you want at this price. It was a young Cab, dry and tannic, with a core of cassis and cherries. A few years in the cellar should soften it.
This bottling from Napa veteran St. Clement has been variable in recent years. The ’05 is similar to the ’02. It’s a likeable, elegant Cab that drinks well now. The cherry, blackberry, plum and mocha flavors are wrapped into rich, soft tannins.