Splash decanted. Ruby color Nose is great. Nice French nose aspects. Strawberry, cranberry, a bit of vegetable, cedar,lot of heat, but nice. A bit of heat, vanilla mixed with strawberry, cherry and chocolate mixed with baking chocolate. Acid a bit high, weight is light. Quite French in characteristics with a bit more heat. Nice wine, but I think it is in a bit of a weird transition phase. I would let it sit for another 3 or 4 years.
4 hour decant. Decent enough wine but given the price/reputation I was a little underwhelmed. Nice, fruity bouquet on the nose but then a little too much oak on the palette and slightly harsh on the finish. I'll give my remaining bottles at least another 3 years before trying again.
If this had been served blind, it would have been pretty easy to conclude it was a California Cabernet/Bordeaux blend given the strong oak and vanilla on the nose. The nose is very toasty as well, with notes of charred newspaper and graphite. Powerful, full bodied, spicy. Vanilla and mocha undertones. Dynamic. Spicy finish. I actually preferred the first wine (1998 Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve), but this is undoubtedly good and was the better of the two for other people.
A rich, velvety core of black fruit, with graphite, earth, and cocoa. The depth of the nose is truly impressive. The balance is impeccable between the fruit, the tannins, and the acidity - this is heft without heaviness. It does bear some resemblance to a left-bank Bordeaux, although it is very approachable now after only 8 years. I'm sure it'll improve even more, but why wait?
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