(76% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, 7% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot; 5.43 g/l total acidity; 12.9% alcohol): Deep ruby with a touch of garnet at the rim. Expressive nose melds red cherry, dried herbs, incense and sandalwood, along with an obvious note of oaky torrefaction. Very smooth on entry, with good balance to its red and black fruit and earthy underbrush flavors. Turns a little tough and lacks complexity on the nutty finish, which hints at iodine and smoke.
Robert Parker 89
A dense ruby/purple hue is accompanied by reticent, restrained aromatics suggesting earth, herbs and subtle fruit. The wine hits the palate with a brutal, tannic overlay, but behind that are impressive levels of black and red fruits. As is the case with many 1995s, the wine’s structural components still dominate, which makes one wonder if these cuvees will ever shed enough tannin to be charming and enjoyable to drink. Certainly depth, weight and richness are all present, but the tannins remain elevated and somewhat foreboding.