Rich, staining ruby, black at the core and an abrupt edge. Lavish ripe fruit, concentrated to near eye-wincing levels fills the nose purely and solidly, just the most perfect fruit imaginable–an impeccable dessert, unbalanced only to the extent of possible opulent-overload. Where it stops short of committing the crime of too-much-luxury is the gentle mint interwoven and the lack of ridiculous French oak. This bright bitter American oak country–love it or hate it–and I happen to like it. Carborundum and the hint of brash tannin peek through, and alcohol is visible. This thing is a bit north of 14-5, I would guess.
This is one of those brands which are not only fairly easy to find, but have a great history and manage to maintain a classic Cabernet profile with enough magic to keep this old-timer happy while still making a product the–face it: the sweet tooth of the–American general public will enjoy. I am a little concerned with the alcohol creeping up, but hey: it’s happening everywhere, you might as well get used to it. I remember a little bit older version I had recently and I recall saying it “reeked of all the nooks and crannies of Napa“. This one–being from a VINTAGE OF THE DECADE–is obviously going to be a bit more… um… shall we say: luxurious? The experienced people will know what profile I am driving at and the n00bs will just go, “Oh yeah! Yum!” It’s a well-knows fact I like them leaner & meaner and it’s important to KNOW YOUR REVIEWER. I’ll pick 2011 any day over 2012 and it seems these 96-point vintages come 7-to-a-decade now.
In the mouth, instant sweet blackberry makes an abrupt licorice and Fernet turn into an area of structured cab I had almost given up on–0from the nose. The fruit is not thick and sticky, but thin and liquid–still luxurious and ripe, but in that almost *watery* state that coats and sloshes into every corner of the palate, never constipating things with viscosity or glycerin. German chocolate, walnuts and pecans, toasted almonds, mascarpone and Charleston Chew–your mind reels with the minute flavor injections available. Sugar-coated tannin remind you it is Cab, and the finish goes on and on and on.
You know how some wines you just cram your nose into and you KNOW it is magic? We’ve all had that moment millions of times. I think if I had to go on nose alone on this one I would chalk it up to just another homogenous Napa wine lacking interest and move on. But then you taste it and the whole world explodes. I gotta say, it’s an incredible wine. I could drink this wine every day. I just wish it told you a little more about itself in the bouquet.
2013 PINE RIDGE VINEYARDS Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.7