Deep impenetrable crimson with heady garnet at the rim. Big nose of thick berry, but not particularly effusive in other nuances. Tertiary is also wrapped hard in acid and chonky cherry–everything is still bright and lively–and again: not terribly complex. I think these wines are at the stage where they need to be left alone and to their own devices, to turn into old valley-floor Napa classics for trotting out and showing what the pioneers can do–like we do with old Martini’s and Mondavi’s, Heitz and BV. There’s so much youthfulness, but in stasis: dulled down in one-dimensional ripeness and fails to express itself to full aplomb. #Winebro will be all: Never gonna happen/These are junk wines/Oh, and 2011/blah blah blah UNTIL–of course–you pull up with a 30YO and then they’ll be all over it because cool for instagram again. I feel there’s a ton of goodness going on in here–PLENTY to go the long run. I guess what I’m trying to say diplomatically is: The wine’s kinda boring right now. I think it’s being dranken far below potential.
Tasting it confirms my theories: lavish and thick–viscous, even–the entry a bracing jolt of power and acid dried out on a brick wall of stony grandeur. Sharp and biting, the eucalyptus from the bouquet hitting bright minty notes and bitter vegetal. A walnut-praline-pie cherry reduction explodes across the middle, extremely refined powerhouses of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove waiting in the wings. Chewy and rich throughout the finish: a chalky, grainy, staining thickness weighted with sweet, dusty–and more eucalyptus-y–tannin. This wine’s going nowhere fast and I think these are bad times to waste them–especially since this style is basically irreplaceable.
2011 FREEMARK ABBEY Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 13.5