The wine looks inky colored. The legs are medium. There is light sediment in the bottle. It smells like blueberry, black currant (cassis), espresso, medium toast, cedar, oak and meaty. It tastes like blackberry, black currant (cassis), blueberry, forest floor, espresso, medium toast, cedar, oak and meaty. The body is full. The wine has polished texture. The wine finishes long. The wine has low acidity.
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.
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