The 2008 Chaleur Estate Red has a restrained nose of black cherry, plum, graphite, vanilla, fresh sage, thyme and white pepper. The palate is complete from front to back, boasting the high pedigree of its venerable vineyard sources along with the balance of the 2008 vintage. In the mouth, the black cherry and plum carry through from the nose augmented with rich notes of vanilla, bittersweet chocolate and espresso powder. This vintage shows the elegant side of Chaleur Estate and it's stunning, for sure. As usual, cellaring will improve this wine for years to come, though it can be hard to resist drinking now.
Blend: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
"The 2008 Chaleur Estate Red is made up of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, with the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot predominantly from Red Mountain vineyards. A restrained nose of balsam wood, pencil lead, thyme, sage, black currant, and blackberry leads to a round, rich, succulent offering that has the balance and structure to achieve its 20th birthday in peak form. As good as the wine is, if the nose becomes more expressive with time in the bottle, my score will appear to be stingy."
The Wine Advocate
"Good deep red. Red cherry, cocoa powder and sexy oak tones on the rather cool nose. Then supple, sweet and deep on the palate, with brisk acidity and firm tannins giving solid structural underpinning to the flavors of red and darker berries and spicy oak. Finishes broad, sweet and very long. Like most of the best 2008 reds, this should age very well.
International Wine Cellar
"Sharp and wound up tight, with a laser focus, this excellent young wine pinpoints raspberry, cherry and red plum fruit flavors, with good penetration and length. The fruit is backed with substantial oak and firm, fine tannins. The alcohol has come down a bit, though there is still a hint of burn and whiskey barrel in the finish."