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2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

From Robert Parker in the December 26, 2005 issue of The Wine Advocate, “The inky/ruby/purple-colored 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve exhibits aromas of crushed rocks, black currant jam, smoke, vanilla and earth. With terrific texture, slightly elevated tannin, and a long, persistent, 35-second finish, this is a well-made, rich, concentrated, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Appellation: Napa
Sonoma
Vintage: 2003
Harvest: October 2003
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.7%
Bottling: December 2005
Production: 1206 cases
Release Date: April 2006
Price:
SOLD OUT

Reviews

  • The Wine Advocate Retrospective Tasting:
    Rating: 99

    In contrast, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (14.7% natural alcohol) is an equal part blend of Napa and Sonoma fruit. There is no doubting the Cabernet Sauvignon in this wine! Classic notes of cedar wood, underbrush, licorice, black currants and tobacco leaf are textbook definitions of this varietal. The color is even denser than the Reserve Claret's, and the bouquet offers additional notes of Chinese black tea. Elegant with great acid as well as stunning concentration, richness and a full­bodied mouthfeel, this is another world­class effort that pushes the envelope toward perfection. It is a remarkable success for the vintage, partly due to the fact that the extremes of weather experienced on the valley floor were less problematic for these high altitude sites. It should keep for another 6­10 years. ­ Robert Parker (June, 2013)

  • Wine Spectator: November 15, 2013 retrospective online review
    Rating: 93
    Aging very well, this is rich and well-built, centered on dark berry flavors and cigar box and cedar notes. Ends with a mix of black licorice and loamy earth. The tannins are firm on the finish. 2003 California Cabernet blind retrospective (July 2013). Drink now through 2025. 1,206 cases made.
    —J.L.
  • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: May/June 2007 Online Review
    Rating: 93

    Good full medium ruby. Briary black cherry, cassis, minerals and chocolate mint on the nose. Impressively dense and sweet but with penetrating acidity giving definition and shape to the thick flavors. Finishes with chewy tannins and terrific persistence. Offers a rare combination of glyceral texture and strong, lively fruit.

  • California Grapevine: December 2006/January 2007
    Rating: 90

    Medium-dark ruby; attractive, fragrant, spicy, cedary, dark plum and ripe black cherry fruit aroma with notes of mocha and coffee; full body; big, rich, dense, highly extracted, concentrated, blackberry jam flavors with rough, woody overtones; full tannin; rough, cedary finish; lingering aftertaste. Needs several more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended.

  • Wine Enthusiast: March 2007
    Rating: 94

    What a wine. Take one of those hugely gooey, famous winemaker Napa Cabs, the kind that melt on your palate like butter on toast or chocolate in a microwave, and add fierce mountain tannins, and this is what you get. A humungous, dry, important Cab, one that desperately needs cellaring. Ten years should do it; 20 might be better. The spicy blackberry and cherry fruit isn't going anywhere.

  • Connoisseurs' Guide: December 2006
    Rating: 92

    Loaded with crème brulee and caramel notes right off the bat, the nose of this compelling effort keeps sweet black cherry fruit in clear focus, and that combination of elements is both outgoing in volume and precociously inviting. Full in feel without the least resort towards heaviness, the wine tastes of mouthfilling, lengthy richness layered over intense yet youthful fruit. Time is clearly on its side, and while the wine has plenty of well-muscled fruit today, it is a lead-pipe cinch to age gracefully with cellaring.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 26, 2006, Issue 168
    Rating: 93+

    The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (a blend of equal parts Napa and Sonoma fruit) offers abundant quantities of creme de cassis notes, medium to full body, a big, beefy, smoky character intermixed with scorched earth, coffee, and blackberries, and a rich, dense, smooth style. Drink this superb Cabernet over the next 12-15 years.

  • Wine Spectator: July 12, 2006
    Rating: 92

    Spice, red currant and blackberry aromas, turning taut and firm on the palate with with mouthcoating tannins. Hints of mocha and vanilla bean add a nice flavor dimemsion and on the finish the fruit and tannins shine through. Best from 2009 through 2014.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 26, 2005, Issue 162
    Rating: 92-94

    The inky/ruby/purple-colored 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve exhibits aromas of crushed rocks, black currant jam, smoke, vanilla, and earth. With terrific texture, slightly elevated tannin, and a long, persistent, 35-second finish, this is a well-made, rich, concentrated, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cellar it for 2-3 more years, and consume it over the following 10-15.