Formerly one of the greatest values in Napa cab on the shelf, I have noticed lately the prices creeping up into 50-60-dollar range… which still denotes a bargain by Napa standards, but long gone are the $25 days. I bought these back when they were still really affordable, and 12 years from a VINTAGE OF THE DECADE seems to be pushing it about far enough for me. Smoky and rather dull in the nose, chunks of fat fruit, hot Naugahyde and easy loam pretty much round out the bouquet. A bit of amber brick graces the rim of an impenetrable black ruby. Tertiary is not powerful: only beginning to patina the smell with elegant, savory polish.

In the mouth: equally un-complex, the power of the vintage nor the subtle effects of age gracing to particular points of spell-binding. Chewy fruit–grainy in texture and edged with bitter herb–enters sweet and restrained, with no identifiable District nuances apparent. Spicy-thin vegetal glorifies the finish, where watery tannin fails to make compelling grip. If this wine were a color, it wouldn’t be lime green, or emerald green, or forest green: it would be olive drab. On one hand I want to say it is bright and un-polished enough to go another decade–on the other, I think it could be fading or incapable. Give me a year with difficulties, and I’ll give you a better wine. Given the exemplary history of the producer though, my call is: with stellar storage it could stay in stasis forever. It’s definitely not aging quickly, though the chub of 2010 concerns me.

2010 TURNBULL CELLARS ‘Estate’ Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Napa Valley 14.1


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