Another brilliant offering is the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve. It possesses a dense ruby/purple color along with terrific structure, lots of creme de cassis, minerality, beautiful purity of black currants and cherries, a judicious touch of oak, and a full-bodied, structural profile that is almost Bordeaux-like. This complete, rich and promising effort should be a 25-30-year wine.
Beringer's 2011 Chardonnay impresses for its balance and harmony. Another wine that punches above its weight, the Chardonnay is laced with bright citrus and floral notes, all in a focused, vibrant style that is incredibly appealing. The partial malo style gives the wine plenty of depth, while not overwhelming the sheer vibrancy of the aromas and flavors. This is another terrific value. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2014.
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is a beautifully balanced wine. Firm yet well-integrated tannins frame a core of dark red berries, flowers, mint, spices and licorice. The Reserve shows lovely inner perfume and mid-palate juiciness. It should drink well with a minimum of cellaring. The main vineyards in the 2009 are Home (37%), Lampyridae (23%), Vogt (14%), Chabot (11%) and Rancho del Oso (9%). Each lot was aged separately for about two years before the final blend was assembled. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.
Creamy vanilla-tinged oak cloaks dried currant and berry fruit with notes ofgraphite and crushed rock, firming nicely on the finish. A true to form Cakebread Cabernet. Drink now through 2024.
Montelena's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate wraps around the palate with serious depth. Even with all of its intensity, the 2009 has a silkiness that makes it incredibly delicious at this early stage. Red berries, flowers, tobacco and sweet herbs all flesh out on the generous, radiant finish. While many 2009s are a bit tight today, Montelena's 2009 Estate is showing very nicely, although it is keeping some cards close to the vest. I imagine the 2009 will start to enter its prime drinking window around age 8-10 and drink well for at least another decade beyond that. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.
In the glass, this wine has a classic Chardonnay hue of pale golden straw. The bouquet draws you in with delicate nuances of wet stones, lichee, white peach, orange blossoms, and a slight hint of toasted almonds. The palate is soft and fleshy and loaded with bright citrus tones of sweet mandarin and Meyer lemon, white nectarine and rich tropical notes of guava, pineapple, and lichee – all complemented by subtle sweet oak. There is a delicate smoothness to this Chardonnay and fantastic weight throughout. This is the wine you’ll want to bring to the next big dinner party or business lunch– get ready to accept the kudos.