January 23, 2021 - Decanted a magnum for 3 hours prior to drinking. Deep purple color, big bouquet of ripe dark fruit and cedar. The wine really opened up after breathing for some time. Delicious fruit still there with soft tannins and smooth long finish. This magnum held up beautifully.
December 23, 2020 - Decanted for an hoist. Decent fruit that seemed to be overwhelmed a bit by the oak. This wine has seen better days. Needs food to offset the oak.
January 1, 2020 - Chocolate cherries, espresso and tarmac. Lush, sweet fruit on the mid-palate. Tough tannins. It's good, but lacks character for me. Just seems like Napa Cab.
June 8, 2019 - Second of two bottles from a mixed Lewis tasting lot (the other was an '07 Alec's Blend, which was delicious, although I didn't review it); price for the two 2as about $120, which effectively works out to about $80 for this. I'll admit I was in a quandary about decanting this based both on past CT notes and experiences with older big CA cabs; some seem to fade after an hour or so in the decanter, as a prior reviewer mentioned about this wine, and some seem a bit overwhelming about out of the bottle with huge fruit and heat, so I split the difference, taking a 1 oz pour and leaving the rest in the bottle for a bit over an hour before tasting more. Cork broke, but may have been more my fault than the cork's. Looking back, my tasting experience was remarkably similar to that from several months ago of the 2005 Merus cab. Super fragrant nose dominated by ripe dark fruit, similar on the palate backed by still vibrant tannins, although no discernible acidity, and graphite. Limited secondary notes in the first pour. Some heat on the palate, a bit surprised that this only 14.5%. Delicious but a bit simple, 91 for that. After the wine had sat for a bit, the complexity did pick up a bit, with subtle notes of cocoa, mint/menthol, and after another hour or so, some licorice and spice. Fruit is dominated by cherries, dark currants and cassis with some raisins/prunes which gives the wine at least some of a porty feel not atypical of older, big cabs, although I don't think that this wine is oxidized (that said, I'd drink sooner than later). Alcohol and tannins a bit better integrated, which leads me to put my thumb on the scale for a quick decant in the future. Moving my score up to 92. Pretty good complement with leftover burgers, grilled veggies and gnocchi, although the lack of or minimal acidity probably makes this wine at least as good without food. Will add to my review if it changes much tomorrow.
So, I'm writing this 2 nights later after finishing up the wine, and it held up really well, even though we're in the midst of a heat wave and I don't have a wine fridge (this is the most moderately temperature place in the world). Really well integrated, and even a nice smokiness on the back end. Lots of sediment, so if you're concerned about these things, another reason to decant. As is often the case, CT's aggregate 92.9 seems just about right. I think that this wine should have several years of really good drinking left if decently stored, although my sense is that it's in the midst of its window and won't improve from here. Would be inclined to buy around this price if offered in the future.
February 24, 2019 - Decanted for about an hour and served with a tenderloin. It remains in prime condition. Years left if you get an opportunity to buy.
December 5, 2018 - Eighteen months ago I said that this was not a PnP wine. Well, last night that assessment proved to be wrong. I reconfirm my comments from June, 2017 - rich dark fruit, mouth-coating, balanced and very enjoyable on the palette. One note - after a while this particular bottle seemed to fade on the back end. Before that, it was wonderful.
February 22, 2018 - could have decanted but we decided to PnP. oak is finally fully integrated. more cigar box and dark chocolate notes with red fruit; very CA and very full and long finish. def a wine worth aging and probably in a great window now and for the next few years.
June 9, 2017 - I like Randy Lewis wines, but one word of caution - always decant. These are not PnP wines. Lewis wines really benefit for decanting and some air.
This was a rich, dark purple wine that exuded layer after layer of dark fruit. It coats your mouth with its richness. Even at 14.5% alcohol it was balanced and did not exhibit any alcohol burning or excess acidity. This wine has some really good years left - thankfully I have a few more.
The rating is a function of the fact that we did not decant - my mistake. The next time I will decant. My sense is that then it will really strut its stuff.
December 24, 2016 - Christmas Eve with lots of food-shrimp, lobster, chicken, filet mignon. Very dark and inky look to it. Nose had lots of ripe fruits still hanging on. Tannins had mostly integrated throughout the wine. Finish was long and lasted around 45 seconds. Last of the 2004 vintage. Lewis makes consistently high scoring Cabernets year in and year out. This vintage was no exception. Great experience.
November 13, 2016 - Lewis remains at the top of my list. The Reserve is very similar to the regular cab, huge fruit, but perfectly integrated. Dark berries with vanilla and subtle spice. Decanted for about 45 minutes, but not sure it was necessary.