A very dry year combined with warm temperatures to produce a light crop of small grape clusters for the Cabernet Sauvignon, yielding a wine with rich, complex flavors and firm tannins. Wines from the Chabot, St. Helena Home and Bancroft vineyards made up the final blend for the Private Reserve; a small percentage of exceptional quality wine from the Sorensen Vineyard in St. Helena was added for its fruity, spicy flavors and soft tannins. The blend includes 7 percent Cabernet Franc. The wine is high in intensity and complexity of Cabernet flavors. It is a chewy, big wine with lots of tannin and sweet, dark fruits, tarry tobacco and chocolate. One of Ed Sbragia's favorites.
2007 Tasting Note:
This is Ed's favorite vintage. It's such a big, classic California vintage. Still tannic, everything's intact. Dark black fruit core with lots of spice, cedar, white pepper, menthol and rich cocoa.
"The 1987 Reserve is a worthy competitor to the terrific 1986. The 1987's dark ruby/garnet color is followed by a super bouquet. There are huge aromas of chocolate, spicy new oak, herbs, cassis and tobacco in this beautifully scented wine. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, voluptuous, spicy, and crammed with fruit, glycerin, and enough tannin to support 15-16 years of cellaring. Like the 1986, the tannins are soft, and, fortunately, the acids are not shrill enough to prevent immediate drinkability. This is a skillfully made, complex Cabernet Sauvignon that will not linger long on retailers' shelves."
The Wine Advocate
"Bright ruby-red. Lively, perfumed aromas of cassis, raspberry and spicy oak. Pretty, focused and sappy in the mouth, with an impressively fresh raspberry flavor. Offers very good balance and structure, though it seemed to grow a bit harder as it opened in the glass. Finishes very long, with ripe, fine tannins."
International Wine Cellar