A gift from Gideon of Clos Saron who made this wine under his first year at Renaissance. A dark garnet color in the glass with a tiny bit of bricking at the edges. If I was drinking this blind I would guess left bank just from the nose. Super pretty nose of smoke, lead pencil, bottle sweet black cherry and raspberry. Lovely perfume like aspect to the nose, elegant, pretty and inviting. Palate is dense, layered and showing no signs of age. Sweet red and black fruits, oak toast, tobacco, graphite and a bit of herbal elements. Bright acidity, great balance and length with some drying tannins still hanging around. I'd say this isn't quite at peak but is drinking very good with a bit of air time. Exceptional wine that is very youthful and by far the best wine I have ever had from the Sierra Foothills.
This was a gift from its maker and as I'm told the first vintage that Gideon was involved in the winemaking at Renaissance. A co-fermented Cabernet-Merlot blend (not sure of the breakdown), the Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the vineyard's oldest planted slopes ("Slope 1" ) and the Merlot from a vineyard designated as the "Meadows Knoll ". Ostensibly stored in the winery's and later Clos Saron's cellars, this eighteen year old Cabernet has held up remarkably well, though I can't say the same for its cork. It has a dirty beef blood color and a clear meniscus. The bouquet is at first brooding and reticent, "reeking" as if one poorly buried a slaughtered lamb and covered it in raspberries, and Mediterranean flowers and dried grass shrubs in a stony, shallow grave. It opens, evolves and magnifies with time in glass. For those of you searching for the Californian wine who's quality actually appreciates over time…ten, fifteen, twenty years, Eureka! I've found it. This drinks with the freshness and zippy life of a young , prime-of-life "old-world" style Cabernet, but it has all the best qualities of an well aged wine with complexity, depth, and balance in spades. The fruit is tart, grippy and pure, displaying sour red cherry and semi-sweet red-current with tart loganberry. Raw, crushed flower petals and tertiary beef and MSG lie beneath the fruit, and beneath that a bedrock of liquefied stones of granite and various minerals. This has a brothy, leather and earth filled finish (emphasis on the later). There's nothing in this wine that's even the slightest bit off-putting or overdone. I believe I could drink this forever and never find a flaw or encounter some aspect that becomes cloying or tiresome. It's like water in that way -- really, really ultra pure, raw and special mountain spring water from the island of Oregon House, CA.
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