The 2002 Benchland Select Cabernet Sauvignon displays a complex, seductive aroma of ripe blackberry and plum fruit augmented by scents of tar, coffee and sweet oak. On the palate, the wine is full-textured and lush, with rich plum, black fig and cocoa flavors supported by smooth tannins. Boasting excellent structure and balance, this delicious Napa Valley Cabernet is delightful to drink now, but will handsomely repay another 7-10 years of cellaring.
In 2002, Napa Valley enjoyed a long, mild growing season of consistently warm days and cool nights, with just a few manageable heat spikes in late September and early October. With an expectation of healthy yields, many growers significantly thinned their crops and pruned shoots and leaves extensively to guarantee the vines put all their energy into ripening the remaining grape clusters, ensuring highly concentrated, complex fruit flavors. Cakebread Cellars further maximized grape quality by using advanced soil moisture management techniques to precisely calibrate the amount of water required by the vines at critical junctures throughout the season.
"Even at age ten, the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Benchland Select (86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Malbec) is reserved, displaying a deep ruby/purple color along with hints of plums, sweet espresso roast, subtle toast/smoky new oak and a darker black currant note. Medium-bodied and elegant, with sweet tannin, copious layers, and a long, intense finish, it tastes more like a 3- to 5-year-old Napa Cabernet rather than one that’s a decade old. It should improve over the next ten years and last for 30 years.
The Wine Advocate