Tasted from magnum. The Cliff Lede Napa Cabernet was dark ink colored, full bodied, complex, concentrated and chewy, yet smooth, polished and harmonious. Initially it had a layer of earthiness and leather with a hint of funkiness that burned off after an hour to explode with forward ripe dark berry, plum and currant fruits, accented by tea and spice before giving way to a milk chocolate tone on the silky supple lingering finish. This accentuated fruit subsided a bit after another hour turning to tones of black cherry and tea, but was still delicious none-the-less.
Absolutely fabulous. A memorable wine consumed from a magnum. Deep inky violet color. Nose was a bit floral but opened with a forest floor kind of funkiness which blew off after about 2 hours of air. The nose and funkiness hinted at a Bordeaux style but this was deep, dark Napa fruit at its best. Mouth filling with flavors including dark cherry, cassis and plum followed by a hint of clove and chocolate. A couple of important notes. Having a magnum may have made a huge difference. I tasted this at the winery a week before from a 750 which I am sure had not been open as long as the magnum was. The aforementioned forest floor aroma and taste was more pronounced, leading to a conclusion this was a touch past prime. En magnum this was exceptional. In addition, this still requires much breathing time. The magnum was open collectively for 2.5 hrs before the real fruit showed up. It was at peak for 60 to 90 minutes before fading just a bit. Another interesting bit of speculation...Since Lede bought the S. Anderson property in 2002, this was likely in barrels, the last harvest as S. Anderson, making this the first solely "Cliff Lede" labeled product.
90-91+ Points. Tasted at Cliff Lede. Aerated for unknown period of time.
Dried, macerated cherries followed by dried herbs and cedar notes. The wine is clearly mature but is holding together well. There's very good clarity and focus here at this point, but is unlikely to improve. Recommend drinking soon with limited aeration.
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