Good ruby-red. Sexy but youthfully restrained aromas of dark berries, black cherry, violet, licorice, graphite, herbs, bitter chocolate and menthol. Densely packed but quite firm, even a bit pinched, with a slight tart edge to its fine-grained flavors of black raspberry, licorice and fresh herbs. Juicy, nicely balanced, elegant wine with silky tannins and excellent length. But comes across as almost too polished, and a bit herbal today. This needs time in bottle to unwind.
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(a blend of 66% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot, 7% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot; 73 IPT; 3.73 pH; 13.6% alcohol) Dark red. Flowers, sour red fruits, menthol and a hint of gunflint on the nose and palate. Offers modest nuance and lift, but seems a bit hollow in the mid-palate, showing only moderate concentration and definition. Finishes with substantial tongue-dusting, slightly harsh tannins. Really quite disappointing after last year's great wine. (I tasted a total of three samples on two different occasions, with fairly consistent results—only one sample merited close to 90 points.) Interestingly, other wine writers, but not all, also had problems with the samples of this wine. Those who had better luck generally rated this wine as potentially outstanding.