This wonderfully "juicy" 2004 Estate Cuvee is unique in that a percentage of the blend was "co–fermented," due to the fact that all three of the varieties that comprise Estate Cuvee - Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petit Verdot - arrived at maturity simultaneously. For the first time in his 24 years as a wine maker, Stephan saw these grapes fermenting in the same tank. The result is a seamless, complex work of art. Fresh aromas of plums, macerated blackberries, and blueberries in the nose, and dark, intense fruit on the palate. The mouth and lengthy finish are made more complex by hints of leather, tar, and tobacco leaf. An augmentation of Petit Verdot puts the 2004 on the classic track of the 2001 vintage.
Blend: 60% Syrah, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot
"There are 1,000 cases of the blockbuster 2004 Estate Cuvee. It reminded me of the 2005 L'Evangile ... on steroids. A dense inky/purple color, great fruit purity, and abundant aromas of acacia flowers, blackberries, cassis, and blueberries are found in this beauty along with a seamless integration of tannin, acidity, and wood, and a finish that lasts over 60 seconds. The result is a profound wine that must be tasted to be believed. This is a brilliant wine from a Frenchman who has captured the magic of Paso Robles."
The Wine Advocate
"Saturated ruby color. Rather bound-up nose suggests blackberry, creme de cassis and bitter chocolate. Juicy and intensely flavored, conveying an impression of strong extract and solid underlying structure. The kirsch flavor is nicely lifted by a floral element. Tannins are firm but not hard. This delivers impressive flavor impact without coming across as particularly sweet. Very long on the finish.
International Wine Cellar