Big & Bold
Powerful aromatic nose of black fruit, spice and vanilla. Fruit forward palate of blackberry, red plum and black currant. High acidity with medium tannins. Tasted this last year. Still the same big fruit, but the tannins are beginning to soften and it is developing some texture. Needed a little time for the alcohol to blow off. The complexity is improving with the addition of more bitter chocolate in the mid-palate and a short finish with some graphite coming through. The tannins are starting to moderate and I like a red wine with some backbone, so I am going to say this wine is in its optimum drinking window. Drink now and the next couple of years, at most. At under $20/btl, this wine has my vote for the best value cab sauv in California. I would expect a wine of this caliber to have a retail in the $30-35 range in Sonoma County. It needs more minerality, the mid-palate and finish could be stronger and the texture wasn’t there to be rated higher, but for that kind of price… this is impressive!
Fruity & Smooth
The other rating is misguided. This is a classic Chenin Blanc from outside the Loire. If you like good Vouvray, you will like this wine. Good acidity gives it a backbone, with some minerality on the palate and nice structure. Excellent value.