Beautiful pristine garnet out to wide considerable brick. Very light sediment in the shoulder for an unfiltered of this age. Ripe, round broccoli, Swiss chard, bell pepper and tar nose with candied squash and a sharp mineral lurking. THIS is why you drink older wines, boys and girls. The polish in the nose is just perfect–nothing fading away and nothing funky or offish–just sublime, pure Napa cab sexiness and voluptuousness for days and days. That wonderful grapey–almost Concord-ey concentration and chalk which begs you to taste it. And then you taste it.
The still-vibrant tannins address themselves almost immediately. It comes in sharp and bullingly but still has the finesse of GOBS of fruit and spice to counter-act. It dries out miserably and wonderfully in the mid-palate–showing at the same time a polish of fruit and a definite thinness of age. Tannins watery with age wash the finish and you want to start all over again. Absolutely in its prime and I wouldn’t try for too many more years. I am not the hugest fan of Atlas Peak wines–I often find them somewhat astringent and lacking potential–not unlike cheap BDX, but patience is indeed rewarding (as with BDX) and this bottle is sublime at this juncture. It breathes out fast and New-World wonks will most likely fault it for being musty and having a mouth-feel relatively un-glycerol-ey, but in the words of Love Actually (and it’s Christmas, so we tell the truth) I find you perfect.
2002 ARDENTE Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak Napa Valley 25% ME 14.0