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 Vintage1997 Label 1 of 9 
(NOTE: Label borrowed from 1996 vintage.)
TypeRed
ProducerArrowood (web)
VarietyCabernet Sauvignon
DesignationRéserve Spéciale
Vineyardn/a
CountryUSA
RegionCalifornia
SubRegionSonoma County
AppellationSonoma County
UPC Code(s)009385208971

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2003 and 2026 (based on 16 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Speciale on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 92.9 pts. and median of 93 pts. in 57 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by Apollo5710 on 12/6/2014 & rated 92 points: This is a wine for the long haul! I've had this a couple other times within the past 10 years, and it seems like it's barely budged in terms of moving toward maturity. I suggest a 2-3 hour decant, this is about how long it took for the wine to come out of its shell (initial nose was big, but it vanished shortly thereafter). After 2 hours, the nose opened up to reveal rather youthful oaky notes melded with leather, cinnamon, spice, brown sugar, cranberry and licorice. It is big in the mouth and still quite tannic! Red candied fruit flavors were dominant, which was followed by a long, explosive finish. This did not taste like a 17 year old wine! I'd say hold for another 5-10 years, but based on this experience, it could have over 20 more years to go - 92+ (873 views)
 Tasted by djdaqm on 10/14/2014 & rated 91 points: Decanted, but didn't aerate long. Very reticent on the nose. When first decanting I got some mild spice, berries and iodine, but this went away quickly. On the palate the wine has a very nice texture, with the tannins well integrated. It has a very silky feel. There was some tangy grapiness, like what I might associate with a CndP, with a subtle finish. Overall I was actually a little disappointed, having had this wine several times before. It's quite subtle and fine, but the complexity and length didn't seem to be there anymore. (1049 views)
 Tasted by mxpbuy on 3/22/2014 & rated 94 points: From Magnum. It needed 30 minutes in the decanter. Great overripe black and some blue fruits, hints of spice, tar and hard leather with modest sweet Oak. Long finish (1910 views)
 Tasted by joshabramson on 11/3/2013 & rated 93 points: Nicely aged napa cab, yet a bit more youthful on the finish than I expected. Needs a little bit of time to open up, but very nice fruit concentration. After an hour in the glass this was really great! (2593 views)
 Tasted by europat55 on 11/1/2013 & rated 91 points: Platinum Tasting - '94 & '97 California Cabs (Tasted Blind) (Andre's House): Nose is dense, but still a little green (B++). Very rich palate (B++/A-). Needs time.
My #4, Group's #2 (39 pts). Tasted blind. (2672 views)
 Tasted by herzog330 on 9/6/2013 & rated 93 points: Tannins have mellowed. Perfect time to drink this wine. Cherry flavors prominent with some charred wood flavor to it. (2356 views)
 Tasted by Tom Myers on 2/2/2013 & rated 95 points: Very fine cab (2287 views)
 Tasted by Tom Myers on 2/2/2013 & rated 95 points: Very fine cab...smooth...opened up after an hour of decanting (3084 views)
 Tasted by Tom Myers on 2/1/2013 & rated 95 points: Very smooth after 30+ minutes of decanting (1763 views)
 Tasted by Jeff Leve on 10/5/2012 & rated 91 points: Charming style of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon with earth, spice, wood, blackberry and forest scents. Medium/full bodied and filled with fresh, cassis, spice and black cherries in the finish. (2750 views)
 Tasted by Richard Jennings on 12/17/2011 & rated 91 points: Opaque red violet color; reticent, tart currant, savory, light smoke, tart black fruit, oregano nose; tart black fruit, oregano, dried plum iodine palate with a sense of salt; medium-plus finish 91+ points (1986 views)
 Tasted by mxpbuy on 8/22/2011 & rated 92 points: Sampled 8/20/11. Pop and pour. This wine was very dark in color and full of fruit on the nose. When first opened a solid 95 point fruit bomb of blackberries, black cherry and some blueberreies with herbs, smokey Oak and a little cedar. Unfortutely, within the hour the fruit started to fall off. After 90 minutes the fruit was faded and muted and the wine was a 91 point wine at best. There was absolutely no sediment, but the wine is clearly fading fast. Drink up. If you've got a dinner with 4 to 8 people to share the bottle, open and drink right away and enjoy it for what is it worth. (3553 views)
 Tasted by vendange on 5/15/2011 & rated 90 points: While better-integrated than in the past this still feels like two wines: Somewhat cakey fruit bomb quickly followed by a wave of tannins. Will continue to hold. Certainly tasty but not profound. (3315 views)
 Tasted by WineScoundrel on 1/23/2011 & rated 94 points: Terrific integration of the bright red fruit and tobacco/cedar elements. Still a good amount of tannins holding it all together. Good, solid, top-notch cab, if a bit on the lighter side. (3612 views)
 Tasted by wallstreet on 1/23/2011: decanted for about 1 hour prior to consumption. This wine was in tough company, but showed well. A big cab that is aging very gracefully. This wine can live man more years and improve. A hint of fruit forwardness, but not obtrusive. Tannin's still evident and will continue to integrate over time. I say if you have any, I would hold for a few more years at least. (3707 views)
 Tasted by paulrc56 on 12/15/2010 & rated 95 points: Wonderful wine dark fruit, lots of body. Great with steak. (3651 views)
 Tasted by cybergod on 5/2/2010 & rated 99 points: Spectacular. One of the greatest Californian Cabernets I have ever tasted. Could have aged for 20-30 years. (2004) (4222 views)
 Tasted by Pknut on 4/23/2010: This was great. More red fruit than dark fruit, resolved in the mouth, yet with really impressive underlying power as well as class, and a definite sweetness to the red fruit. The tannin is smooth and integrated, the wine cohesive and well balanced. Very enjoyable. David and Lindsey's rehearsal dinner at Rothmann's. (4188 views)
 Tasted by thalver on 12/28/2009 & rated 92 points: soft, tannins largely resolved...nice boquet, good mouthfeel, medium finish....I was hoping for a bit more complexity (4464 views)
 Tasted by babnik on 11/14/2009 & rated 90 points: Restrained and elegant with cassis, tobacco leaf, freshly plowed earth, and cedar. Drink now. (4531 views)
 Tasted by dbkitc on 10/26/2009 & rated 92 points: Light garnet. Tobacco and cedar on the nose. Red fruit and in balance. Nice and quite a contrast to the others in the flight. (92) (4575 views)
 Tasted by gutt22 on 9/12/2009: This is a winner that's drinking well right now. Dark red color that betrays no signs of age. Beautiful bouquet, full of life, with black currant, cedar, tobacco, and earthy notes. In the mouth, really lively, almost racy. It just emphasizes bright fruit and isn't heavy or plodding at all. Perhaps not overly complex, but a really delicious wine to drink. It has life yet caresses the palate nicely. Underrated wine. A- (4563 views)
 Tasted by pinotwinelover on 6/14/2009 & rated 95 points: excellant again with lamb at MAsa's, very bordeaux in style, which is my style (4942 views)
 Tasted by smiledoc on 10/25/2008 & rated 94 points: Excellent balance and finesse. Reday to drink now but could hold for a few more years. No difference between a magnum and a 750, but that could change down the road. A great cabernet! (5051 views)
 Tasted by JScott on 6/5/2008 & rated 93 points: Consistent with prior experience. Great balance and refinement. (5175 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2001, IWC Issue #96
(Arrowood Vineyards and Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Speciale Sonoma County) Subscribe to see review text.
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (12/17/2011)
(Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon Réserve Spéciale) Opaque red violet color; reticent, tart currant, savory, light smoke, tart black fruit, oregano nose; tart black fruit, oregano, dried plum iodine palate with a sense of salt; medium-plus finish 91+ points  91 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous and RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)

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California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

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