Starts with an extraordinarily complex, refined aroma, detailed and inviting in cassis, tobacco, anise, cocoa and smoky oak. In the mouth, there’s fantastic depth and complexity. The wine is rich, profound, a star even in its Rutherford stable of thoroughbreds. It has enormous power, with finely ground, sweet tannins. Absolutely gorgeous now, with the stuffing and…
A big wine, rather ponderous now in the size and forwardness of its fruit and the volume of mainly new French oak. The fruit is massive, suggesting black and red sour cherry candy, with oak influences of smoky char and pencil shavings, and complex notes of minerals and sweet violet flowers. But it all needs time to come together. Tasted in a large flight of 2007…
Here’s a young, strong, vigorous wine that needs cellar time. It’s absolutely dry, and hits the palate with numbing tannins. But the blackberry, cassis and cedar flavors are intense and concentrated. Earns its high score by the wonderful combination of elegance and potency. Hold until after 2015.
One of the best Rutherford wines of the vintage. Dramatically concentrated, everything’s on steroids, but controlled and beautiful. Very ripe and plush, oaky and young, fabulously expressive. Flavors are of black currants, sweet cherries, vanilla, smoke. A perfect expression of youthful brilliance and ageworthiness.
Black in color, glyceriney. Massive, deep, tremendous. Some will find it overpowering in New World extraction, but it’s a real beauty in that style. Explodes in black currants, chocolate and new oak, almost overripe, with suggestions of raisins. Almost dessert-like, but stays dry and elegant. Defines modern Napa Valley cult Cabernet Sauvignon.
What a wonderfully rewarding wine. So delicious and elegant it dazzles, staying firm throughout, and getting even better through the finish. It’s sweetly, opulently ripe, showing a panoply of red and black cherry and mocha flavors wrapped into ripe, dusty, fine tannins. Defines classic Rutherford. Decant if you drink now, or hold through 2020.
The 2008 vintage wasn’t the greatest ever in Napa, and this isn’t the greatest ever Staglin Cabernet. But it is one of the successes of the vintage, showing how a great winery rises over vintage limitations. Feels lush and dramatic in the mouth, with lush, smooth tannins housing classic Cabernet flavors of black currants, plums, green olives and dark chocolate…
A youthful, exciting wine that offers plenty of earth and cassis. It seems tight and closed now, with packed in tannins, a condensed mouthfeel and some mild green pepper notes on the tail end. Definitely a wine for the cellar. Give it some time and it should open up its wings.