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At Cardinale we christened this the vintage of "Alice's Rabbit," in that everything was very late. Already looking at a later harvest because of this phenomenon we enjoyed several months of mild temperatures and slow, steady flavor accumulation, without many of the heat spikes we have become accustomed to in Napa Valley. Thus as fall started to make its appearance with even cooler temperatures and shorter days our concerns increased because we hadn't yet reached our full flavor potential. Thankfully we were blessed with an Indian summer at just the right moment that helped drive these flavors to the Cardinale standard of quality.
"This 1,000-case cuvee from three separate Napa vineyards – the Veeder Peak Vineyard high up on Mt. Veeder, the Keyes Vineyard on Howell Mountain, and the Stags Leap Vineyard on the valley floor – is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot. Deep ruby/purple to the rim, with notes of graphite, black cherry and black currant liqueur, licorice, and spice box, the wine has silky tannins, full body, a gorgeously layered, rich mouthfeel, and a long finish with moderately high tannins and refreshing acidity. It’s a big wine for sure, but it has uncanny elegance, purity, and length."
The Wine Advocate
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