The capsule slipped off easily, which was reassuring given the heat in Texas and the tendency of mature wines to have been stored in less than ideal conditions here. The cork seemed firm as I inserted the screw but crumbled as I attempted to remove it. I was worried at this point that an oxidized fruitless wine was the best that could be hoped for. I pushed the rest of the cork down into the bottle, and then decanted through a sieve. My hopes began to rise, as it was obvious from the aroma that the wine was neither oxidized nor tainted. I poured a glass for myself and one for my wife expecting a restrained amount of fruit, a hint of acidity (I hoped) and a smooth almost non-existent tannin. What we found was a beautiful, complex, still vibrant wine. The color was dark crimson with a hint of the slightest faint amber at the edges. The nose was shy at first, but upon the first sip the fruit and acidity were apparent. The finish started off very smooth with mid level tannin, but after two hours in the decanter it became more pronounced, balancing the fruit and acidity perfectly. Cherry, red currant, a faintest hint of cedar and a bit of licorice and black olive on the finish. It was a graceful, yet still compelling wine.
Still dark in color. Tamed considerably from last bottle some years ago. Very good intensity and balance. A food-friendly though unmistakeably Californian maturing Cab. In a good place but no hurry to drink.
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