"The 2002 vintage is a very serious and classic vintage; forward, yet with tame tannins and in general reminds me of the 1994 vintage, but richer, more velvety and silky and with more complexity," says winemaker Michael Trujillo. Like many other growers, our crop levels decreased more than 30% from the abundant 2001 vintage, but quality remained outstanding with rich, concentrated, ripe-fruit flavors and smooth tannins. "There were no orphans in this vintage... no wines that didn't fit in nicely to this blend."
In the nose, there's bramble and black olive and an herbal/red fruit
character that rolls into caramel with a hint of the typical HL black
licorice after the wine opens up. "But it's a very pleasant wine and
none of the herbal, youthful nose carries into the palate. The field blend of varietals gives the E II softer tannins than the signature HL, and highlights the red fruit flavors; red raspberry and
cherry. It has a bold, ripe Merlot character, with Cabernet Sauvignon length. There's a definite creaminess to this wine, and a little spice that rolls off into caramel after the youth shakes off."