A Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend off the estate. The winemaker says the Syrah brings complexity and backbone, although I don’t know that the Cabernet needs much help. But this is an extraordinary wine. It’s richly sumptuous in chocolaty, black currant fruit, and soft as velvet, but without being cloying, due to the sweet tannins and bracing structure.
One of the best Merlots of the vintage, at a good price for the quality. Shows a structural quality and ripeness that are pure Oakville, with ultra-refined tannins, good acidity and plush, complex flavors of black cherries, red currants and licorice that go on and on into a long, spicy finish. New oak comprises 40% of the barrels, and adds beautiful notes of toast…
A remarkably priced wine that tastes like a reserve wine. Lovely mint and plum aromas, with pretty flavors of chocolate and plums on a long finish with soft tannins. For drinking over the next ten years.
This great Napa Cabernet can stand beside far more expensive Cabs from the valley. Notable for its dry, tannic, rich structure and complex blackberry, black currant, blueberry and oak-inspired smokiness, it’s absolutely delicious now, and will develop in the bottle over many years.
Another terrific Sangiovese from Swanson. Full, rich aromas of ripe plums, blackberry, spice, smoke and oak. Tastes ripe, rich and round, with great tannin structure. Velvety and complex, sumptuous and lush, it’s really of fine quality.
Swanson has a great track record with this wine, which is always in need of time on release. The 2005 shows classic Napa structure, with hard but near-perfect tannins and lush, oak-sweetened black currant, cherry and dark chocolate flavors. Brilliant, but will benefit from a good three or four years in the cellar. Should evolve well beyond 2012.
Made with 19% Merlot, this Cabernet’s tannins are quite hard and firm, giving it a tight astringency. Even so, the underlying fruit is so powerful, it breaks through in a mouthburst of blackberries, black cherries, black raspberries and an oaky, smoky richness that’s almost chocolaty. A very fine, intense and ageworthy wine that should develop bottle complexity…
Very intense, very extracted and very Californian from head to toe. Marvelous fruit potency courses through this muscular blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and a few other red grapes. The oak is mammoth, and sweet like coconut, but the powerful currant- and coffee-tinged fruit can handle it. A sure bet to partner grilled beef or braised lamb shanks.