Anthony Dias Blue, Tasting Panel, 92pts
California Grapevine, by Nick Ponomareff, 90pts: Second Place. Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, cedary, toasty, black cherry fruit aroma with spicy notes and a hint of cola; full body; forward, rich, textured, cassis and blackberry fruit flavors with good depth and a hint of graphite; mediumfull to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended. (Group Score: 16.2, 1/1/1; My Score: 17 [90/100], second place)
Whitley on Wine, by Robert Whitley, 97pts: This wine is a masterpiece of balance and complexity. On the nose, it exhibits notes of cedar, spice, licorice and mocha. On the palate, the purity of fruit is stunning by revealing aromas of blueberry, black currant and blackberry in endless layers of flavor. The wine is dense and rich without being daunting, and the gentle backnote of wood smoke provides a wonderful savory accent. The wine finishes with long, persistent waves of flavor. This is Napa Valley red wine at its finest
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 84 pts: Dry and herbal, with a mix of sage, cedar, dried currant and black licorice, this red is full-bodied, firming on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2016. 1,585 cases made.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 89pts
Wine Enthusiast, by Steve Heimoff, 90pts: Quite ripe, verging on overripe, showing flavors of blackberries, black currants and cedar, with a very slight raisining on the finish. Shows good integration of oak and fruit, housed in firm tannins that are astringent in youth. Should develop bottle maturity for six years or so, at least.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 91 points: Complex, with ripe cherry, plum and a hint of creme de cassis. Full bodied and fleshy, with depth, richness and concentration, ending with a mocha flavor. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2015.
Andrea Immer Robinson, 90pts: Imagine a bubbling cauldron of blueberry, licorice, chocolate and vanilla cream, transformed into a cloud on the tongue, and you have this sumptuous wine. Bravo!
Connoisseur's Guide, 91pts: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon; 12% Petit Verdot; 7% Cabernet Franc; 5% Merlot; 4% Malbec. The formulations of the brace under this new label are fairly similar and, not surprisingly, so are the wines. If anything, this one could be considered a little bit more plush in palatefeel and a tad higher in ripe cherry fruitiness, but, in truth, there is not a lot separating the two. Both are nicely fruity, are equipped with nominal tannins and drink well now but will drink even better with cellaring.
Wine & Spirits Magazine, 92pts: Year's Best Cabernet & Blends Sleek and fully draped in tannin this has the high-toned ping of Bing Cherry adding vibrancy to its wild black cherry and black currant flavor. Sweet oak melds with the foresty fruit in this blend of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, cabernet franc, merlot and malbec. The lovely integration bodes well for several years of evolution in the cellar.
Wine Enthusiast, by Steve Heimoff, 92pts: This is the winery's priciest red and also its best. It immediately appeals for the soft, lush texture and the way the sweet fruit marries with the oak to wow the palate. Shows lush cherries and cassis, with rich nuances of vanilla, smoky wood and anise. Decadent and delicious, and best now through 2011. Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, but comprised of all 5 Bordeaux varieties.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 93pts: Exhibits ripe, vivid blackberry, wild plum and black cherry fruit that's well-proportioned, focused, long and persistent, with appropriate tannins and acidity, ending with a complex aftertaste and a touch of mocha. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. Drink now through 2016. 940 cases made.
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