Nose: dusty saddle leather, muskiness, sour cranberry, cassis, . Flavors: dusty saddle leather, red fruits (cranberry), some oak, dried mushroom/earth with light body. I really felt it was starting to fade. Had it any decent finish I might have gone 90 pts.
Wineterfest 2011: Opened about 2 hours before serving, no decant. Enjoyed over the course of 90 minutes. Garnet / claret color showed the most age - lightest color of the flight, and faded towards the edge. Wonderful nose with lots of secondary flavors that you look for in an aged cabernet. Saddle leather, muskiness, vanilla, cranberry, cassis on the nose. Flavors were of leather, red fruits (cranberry), oak (not overdone), mushroom, terroir. Wine had a light body. Very good.
This bottle was purchased by my in-laws in the mid-eighties, and lived in the basements of several houses over the years. We finally opened it over an extended family dinner. By the numbers, this is a 96% Cabernet, 4% Merlot blend with 11.5% alcohol (how different the prevailing style of winemaking was then!). The wine had thrown a moderate amount of sediment; I didn't decant because I wanted to capture as much of the remaining fruit as possible. The cork was in excellent shape, with a crumbly last half-inch. Very evolved brick red/brown/amber color; I was surprised to find quite a bit of black cherry fruit on the palate, and little or no trace of oak. Interesting notes of eucalyptus, spearmint, leather, and an earthy/mushroomy quality that really grew on me over a few glasses. The tannins are completely evolved. This was the oldest California wine I've ever tasted (23 years after the vintage), and while it should ideally have been drunk up 5-10 years ago given its uneven storage history, it was still excellent.
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