Passing Lane

Impenetrable ruby, barely tapering out to transparency at the last moment of edge. Big smoky coffee nose, roasted nuts, praline and heady sharp red fruit. A spicy zang penetrates everything, sandwiching the mountain of fruit between it and funky petrichor.

This is a seriously ripe 2011, and getting flabbier and more alcoholic with air. Tasting it now, fruit dense and lifeless–almost artificially-sweetened-feeling–nothing bright and fresh, just initial attack and then round dark figures moving through shadows, impossible to make out any identifying marks, mint being the only compelling nuance.

This thing’s GOT to be 14-5, and I would have loved to taste it young, as it is not aging gracefully. Easily one of the ripest elevens I have experienced–and still quite tannic. Hot and mis-appropriating ripeness and concentration as fruit, making for a very two-dimensional wine. I also don’t think it is straight cab, perhaps a splash of PV contributing a little pepper. If you’ve got any of these laying around I would definitely recommend drinking them.

Final impression: Sticky sweet, spicy burn, plentiful tannin.

2011 WHITEHALL LANE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.2

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