Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 94pts: An explosive style, big, rich, dense and powerful, delivering extracted blackberry, black licorice, mocha, espresso and dried herb flavors, with subtle cedar and spicy incense notes that linger, tightening ever so slightly on the finish. Drink now through 2027. 401 cases made.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 88pts: Tight and pleasantly earthy, with loamy soil, grainy tannins and cedary oak. The drying tannins on the finish suggest a long decant or cellaring. Best from 2013 through 2022.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 92pts: Exhibits ripe, rich, aromatic plum, black cherry and wild berry fruit that's supple and smooth-textured, full-bodied and elegant, glid¬ing along on the finish, where this keeps revealing extra facets of flavor. Firms on the finish. Drink now through 2020.
Connoisseur's Guide to California Wine, by Charles Olken, 94pts: Two Puffs. There is no questioning the serious intent of this big, complex, impressively extracted youngster, and even though fairly grippy and coarse in its tannins, it never wavers in its delivery of deep and very constant Cabernet fruit. It is a brooding and eminently ageworthy wine that wants a dark corner of the cellar to call its home, and, while we would lobby for at least six or seven years of patience, we would also not be surprised to see it grow for a good many more.
Daily Grape, by Gary Vaynerchuk, 91pts: Sour cherry dominates the opening nose, along with enjoyable pencil shavings, graphite, tar, gravel notes, and big, sweet oak aromas. But I'm not pissed at the oak... it's not over the top. The palate is loaded with big, black currants and burly, well structured tannins. I like the vanilla and ripe plum flavors that hang around on the finish. This just borders on becoming too over the top, and then pulls back. It reminds me of myself that way. A very solid wine, with long term aging potential. I find it extremely chewy and very charming, with both herbaceous and liquid chocolate aspects on the finish.
Whitley on Wine, by Robert Whitley, 95pts: (This) is the winery's flagship wine and is made to be cellared, at least long enough for the chewy tannins to integrate. This Cabernet exhibits wild, brambly berry fruit aromas, rustic tannins and complex notes of coffee, mocha and spice. In the mouth, it has the rough and tumble feel of a Napa Valley mountain cabernet, in stark contrast to the sleek style of the Stephanie wines.
Wine Advocate, by Robert Parker, 94 pts: The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon are more similar than dissimilar, which is somewhat unusual for these two vintages. The fruit is slightly sweeter and riper in the 2007, with perhaps more volume, but both wines possess opaque purple colors as well as considerable levels of tannin, purity, depth, full-bodied power, and lots of blue and black fruits intermixed with licorice and subtle smoky oak. Both are top-notch efforts that should evolve for 20-25 years. The 2007 gets a slight nod only because the tannins are riper.
Wine Enthusiast, by Steve Heimoff, 95pts: Cellar Selection. Another excellent Cabernet from Hestan. It's riper and juicier than the '06, showing the babyfat of this famous vintage. But it's no less complex or ageworthy. Just drinkable earlier. Shows concentrated blackberry, black currant, anise, licorice and smoky oak flavors, wrapped into aromatic, thick, firm tannins. Should develop over the next decade and beyond.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 85pts: Aromas of road tar, black licorice and dried currant are taut and chewy, full-bodied and tannic. Ends with a dank, cedary edge. This is closed now, so best to cellar. Drink now through 2016. 510 cases made.
Wine Advocate, by Robert Parker, 93pts: The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon are more similar than dissimilar which is somewhat unusual for these two vintages. The fruit is slightly sweeter and riper in the 2007, with perhaps more volume, but both wines possess opaque purple colors as well as considerable levels of tannin, purity, depth, full-bodied power, and lots of blue and black fruits intermixed with licorice, and subtle smoky oak. Both are top-notch efforts that should evolve for 20-25 years.
Wine Enthusiast, by Steve Heimoff, 97pts: TOP 100 WINES of the YEAR #15, Cellar Selection. Massive, dramatic, beautiful, intense, but young and firm in tannins, with a cut of fresh acidity. Shows concentrated blackberries, black currants, violets, minerals and cedar, leading to a long, penetrating finish. Very great Cabernet, vibrant and potent, just tremendous in structure. Potentially a near perfect wine with 4-6 years in the bottle.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 92pts: Dusty berry, savory herb, mineral and sage are full-bodied and concentrated, focused and balanced. A big yet juicy and expressive style that ends with firm, minerally tannins. Best from 2010 through 2016.
Wine Advocate, by Robert Parker, 90pts: The dense ruby/purple-tinged 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon reveals a nose of creosote, blackberries, and blueberries, medium to full-bodied flavors displaying pure, concentrated black fruits, a sense of elegance, sweet tannin, and a good finish. It should drink well for 10-14 years. This 42-acre vineyard (the entire estate encompasses 127 acres) is planted with Bordeaux varietals. Made by Mark Herold for Stanley and Helen Chang, there are approximately 400 cases of this limited production Cabernet.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 89pts: Ripe and generous, with plush plum, black cherry and blueberry notes that are well-structured and perfumed. Ends with chewy tannins, though nothing a little time in the bottle shouldn't resolve. Best from 2010 through 2015. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 410 cases made.
Wine Advocate, by Robert Parker, 90-92pts: This small operation, run by Stanley and Helen Cheng with the assistance of well-known wine consultant, Mark Herold, produces 300+ cases of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 19-20 months in new oak. Tasted just prior to bottling, the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a dark ruby/purple color as well as elegant, stylish notes of espresso roast, black currants, and toasty oak in a medium-bodied, soft, attractive format. It should drink well for 10-12 years. Previously recommended: 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (93).
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 91pts: A ripe, rich, complex style, with vivid currant and blackberry fruit that strays into some funky, earthy territory. Yet this rallies, with a finish that shows off its pepper and wild berry fruit. Best from 2009 through 2014.
Wine Advocate, by Robert Parker, 93pts: Performing even better than it did from cask, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (288 cases of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon made by up-and-coming winemaker Mark Herold for proprietors Stanley and Helen Cheng) looks to be sensational. Its inky/blue/purple color is followed by an explosive nose of blueberry liqueur intermixed with white chocolate and acacia flowers. Full-bodied, opulent, and dense with high but sweet levels of tannin, marvelous purity, and a layered finish that lasts for 40+ seconds, this superb 2003 can be drunk young or cellared for two decades.
Wine Advocate, by Robert Parker, 95 pts: Hestan's 2002 is a 275-case cuvee of very impressive Cabernet Sauvignon. This dense, opaque blue/purple-colored offering's smoky, graphite, black currant, and berry-scented nose is gently infused with notions of toast and spice box. Full-bodied, opulent, pure, and expansive, this layered wine exhibits a seamless integration of wood, acid, and tannin. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2018.
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