Dalla Valle 2004 ($150) – 97 pts
Inviting aromatics, earthy and spicy with just the right suggestion of fruit, beautiful saturation, gorgeous silky, supple texture, full and mouth filling on the palate, complex with perfectly integrated tannins and a forever finish.
Gargiulo 2005 OVX ($200) – 95 pts
Intense coffee bean on the nose, opens with tobacco and dark berry on the palate, plenty to enjoy on mid palate with spiciness, and perfectly balanced fruit and acidity. Firm tannins to carry this gem through the years.
Fruto 2005 ($200) – 94 pts
Enticing earthy aromas lead to well balanced dark fruit, cassis and earthy notes on mid palate, intense, rich and full bodied with tannins galore, memorable finish.
Harlan Estate 2004 ($495) – 94 pts
Tart cherry nose, exceedingly earthy, plenty of cassis and spicy flavors upon entry that persist broadly and expansively on the palate, complex with firm tannins, very nicely balanced.
Bond 2004 St Eden ($190) – 92 pts
Deep dark fruity aromas, currant and cassis focused on palate, lively, spicy, powerful and balanced, plenty of tannins to go the distance.
Hoopes Vineyard 2005 (~$65) – 92 pts
Dense, dark and elegant all at the same time; new French oak was ever so evident. Pretty oak notes from start to finish, earth forward with dark cherry and spice notes.
Far Niente 2005 ($125) – 92 pts
Licorice and restrained dark berry in nose, beautifully structured, licorice and tobacco thread through the palate with black currant at the core, beautifully structured.
Gargiulo 2005 Money Road Ranch Cab ($85) – 92 pts
Minty notes on the nose, bright black and red fruit surrounded by toasty oak, lifted on the palate, drinking beautifully now.
Rudd 2005 Proprietary Red ($125) – 91 pts
Brooding dark fruit aromas, deep and chewy currant/cassis on the palate, nice saturation, toasty accents and a lingering finish.
Kelleher 2004 Brix Vineyard ($75) – 91 pts
Expressive earthy, wild berry aromas, ever so smooth on the palate, plenty of tannins, lots of weight without feeling heavy on the palate; pleasing finish.
Mondavi 2005 Oakville Reserve (~$125) – 91 pts
Inviting notes of tobacco and dried fruit in the nose, big and rich dense plum on the palate, mouth-filling with well integrated tannins.