In many ways, the 1999 vintage wine made itself. Overnight after crushing, we saw intense color and great concentration in the juice, which only deepened during fermentation and the three-week maceration period. In this vintage, Chris selected 93 percent new French oak barrels, crafted by half a dozen different coopers for additional complexity and nuances of aroma and flavor. The wines aged in barrel for 17 months before we elected to capture the exuberant fruit flavors, the hallmark of this excellent, ripe vintage. I believe the resulting wine defines pure pleasure-and Special Selection's true pedigree.
Color: Opaque, dark black-cherry
Nose: Deep, generous aromas of black currants (cassis) and black cherries that promise sweet, mature fruit, interwoven with notes of anise, black licorice and vanilla.
Mouth: The wine enters the mouth with an explosive impression of richly ripe fruit, especially black currants and plums. This pure fruit essence forms a solid core that dominates the wine in its evolution in the mouth. Flavors of licorice and toasted spice as well as textural elements from the finely grained tannins and plush, fleshy mouthfeel envelop this core but never overcome it. The fruit flavors deepen and expand as the wine builds to a prolonged, weighty finish. While this wine is delicious today, in my opinion it may not reach a plateau for 20 years or more.