2003 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes

100% Estate grown fruit
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
Aged 20 months in 60% new French oak barrels from Tonnelleries Sylvain and Demptos
Alcohol 14.7%
3,523 cases produced

"Larkmead's gravelly, river basin vineyard blocks provide the ideal conditions for producing low-yielding, high-quality cabernet fruit. The 2003 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent successor to the immensely popular 2002 vintage. Winemaker, Andy Smith, said that although the 'tannic structure is similar to the '02', the '03 cabernet is 'purer and more precise.'

Deep ruby red/purple color. The intensely aromatic nose features sweet raspberry, cassis, kirsch and floral aromas of great purity. Vineyard-derived notes of black tea, graphite and a slight menthol edge add complexity and intrigue. The palate closely follows the aromatic profile with a dense core of opulent black fruit along with stony minerality, dark chocolate and cocoa notes. Initially the wine's structure is tight with great spicy/peppery length, but with air, the sweet tannin profile unfolds to reveal a juicy fruit-filled finish. This beautifully balanced wine will further concentrate for 3 to 4 years in bottle and hold for a decade."

Robert Parker - Wine Advocate 93 POINTS

"The inky ruby/purple-tinged 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate offers a sweet nose of licorice, black currants, charcoal, and subtle spicy oak. Lovely fruit on the attack is followed by scorched earth-like notes reminiscent of a top-class Graves from Bordeaux. Full-bodied, elegant and rich, with low acidity and ripe tannin, it has 12-15 years of upside potential."

Stephen Tanzer - International Wine Cellar 89-92 POINTS

"Ruby-red. Pure but subdued aromas of currant, leather and licorice. Fresh, spicy flavors of cassis, black cherry and licorice. A somewhat cooler style of cabernet with a note of tea leaf. Less thick than the 2002, but has density. Finishes with broad, dusty tannins and a lingering note of licorice."

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