2009 Larkmead Vineyards Solari
Production: 910 Cases
Fruit: 100% Estate grown fruit, produced and bottled at Larkmead Vineyards
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: Aged for 20 months in 70% new French oak barrels
Cooperages: Tonnelleries Demptos & Sylvain
"Very dark ruby purple color. Great purity of typical Larkmead fruit: black raspberry, cassis, kirsch, lavender and lifted floral notes; increasingly focused with air. Immediate density of layered dark fruits, succulent, polished and full. Dense ripe fruit core then tightens to gravel, crushed rock and floral complexity. Becomes tighter still as youthful structure begins to dominate, but remains layered, long and packed with flavor.
Our 2009 Solari is a wine of two distinct parts. Initially it is perfectly in keeping with this overtly fruit driven vintage - forward, enveloping, dense and generous with the best of Napa fruit purity. With aeration (and, at writing, this needs extended air) the true long term character of the wine steadily emerges - focused, linear aromas and then the flavors of the site, cool blue/black fruits, spicy black cherry and a thread of mineral/rock that courses through the wine - its natural connection to our deep gravel soils.
Once eventually fully open and forthcoming, the Larkmead signature resonates from every pore, although in this generous vintage the emphasis is more slanted toward fruit essence than herb/underbrush influences - it's deep, fruity and full of extract and pleasure. The substantial tannins are always layered and broad creating the feeling of expansive power and lingering density. The wine keeps on delivering and offers something new each time you return to the glass.
This is clearly one of our richest wines to date that hails from a very low yielding vintage. In such conditions the level of vine extract is maximized which means the fruit dominates for longer. A long decant (2+ hours) is therefore required to allow the wine to realize its full potential. Extended aging potential is an added bonus, in this case 15 to 20 years seems possible."
— Andy Smith, Winemaker
Antonio Galloni - 96 POINTS, Wine Advocate, 12-27-11, Issue 204
"The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Solari is super-refined and polished. There is a pure sensuality and finesse to the Solari in 2009 that is striking. Expressive floral spices and red fruit notes form the layered, totally sublime finish. The 2009 isn't as powerful or structured as the 2010, but then again, that is probably a good thing, as the wine will drink well earlier. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029."