A great deal on one of the last 1997 California Cabernets! The wine has aromas of blackberry, black cherry, clove, and ripe plum, overlaid with spicy oak and the peppered earthiness that is an essence of the Chalk Hill appellation. Flavors are complementary, and mid-palate sweetness yields gracefully to firm, broad tannins in the finish. The wine required no fining or filtration, indicative of the innate structure and balance of the final blend.
The warm 1997 vintage provided an ideal ripening environment for our old vine Cabernet at Chalk Hill. The majority of the fruit was harvested during the first two weeks of October after a lengthy, steady ripening season interrupted only briefly by August El Niño rains. Clusters were large but berries small, resulting in reasonable vineyard yields and concentrated flavors, an optimal combination which characterized the vintage as a whole.
Traditional techniques, including native yeast fermentations, ageing in French oak, malolactic in barrel, blending with small amounts of other Bordeaux varieties, and quarterly rackings, revealed the quintessential characters of Chalk Hill Cabernet.
"Ruby-red. Highly aromatic, fruity aromas of red- and blackcurrant, tobacco, leather, gunflint and graphite, along with floral and minty nuances. Big, lush and fruity; flavors are a bit cooler than those of the '96. Finishes with very suave, harmonious tannins and impressive persistence. A strong showing for these vintages."
-International Wine Cellar