2005 Lancaster Estate Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
*Cellar Selection* A massive wine that absolutely demands time in the cellar, Lancaster’s ’05 is nearly all Cabernet, with tiny amounts of the other four Bordeaux varieties. It stuns with the power and authenticity of its hilly Cabernet origins, offering vast black currant, orange rind, anise and smoky oak flavors that implode on the palate. But the tannins are hard. It should blossom and fully come into its own after 2010.
A bit brooding and closed at present, this substantial young wine delivers plenty of depth and fruit extract from the start. It slowly unfolds to show plenty of dense, curranty fruit aligned with lots of sweet, slightly vanillin oak, and its incisive varietal flavors stay the course even as ample tannins come into play. A successful and serious effort in need of time in the cellar, it will not reach its best until a decade has passed.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Slightly superior is the outstanding 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, which offers up scents of fruitcake, soil undertones, forest floor, and copious quantities of black cherries and black currants as well as soft tannins in its dense, medium to full-bodied personality. It is ideal for drinking over the next decade.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Full ruby-red. Aromas of plum, currant, tobacco and dark chocolate show a bit more lift than the 2006 bottling. Supple but juicy, with a light touch to the nicely concentrated flavors of dark fruits, graphite and brown spices. Finishes with good length and clarity, and finer tannins than the '06.
Smoky, with charred oak wrapped around a tight core of dried currant, anise, sage and tar, giving this a complex range of flavors. Full-bodied, this is supple midpalate, firming up on the finish. Drink now through 2015.