This is one of the more difficult premium cabernets to decipher. I will say this: 1) it is better than the bottle I had less than 5 months ago, 2) it is not as good as the 2005 vintage, imo. The nose was absolutely gorgeous, a composed mixture of red and dark fruits, and herbs. The mid-palate was a decadent, complex composition of berries, dark chocolate, autumn leaves, toasty oak in a silky package. The finish, however, was cherry/raspberry/blueberry liquor with some alcohol heat. For whatever reason, I don't mind this in a pinot noir (a la Martinelli or Aubert), but I didn't like it with my Bordeaux-styled blend. It did not seem coherent with the other elements of this wine.
IMO, Robert Foley-made wines never seem to evolve linearly. Sometimes all the components fall into glorious balance, and other times not so much. Tonight, the '03 Reserve Claret was sweet, and lacking acidity and backbone to keep it from feeling a little heavy and flabby. For a merlot-based wine, it lacked some of the more elegant claret characteristics I was hoping for. This is a shame, because '03 is one of my all-time favorite vintages for Pride Merlots.
This bottle never came together this night. It never fully opened up and had notes that other tasters identified as "acetone" like. Will try another bottle. Better after 60 minutes, medium full mouth weight, medium finish. Maybe an off bottle?
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