1999 Hess Collection Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Smells ripe and oaky, with tons of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. Almost sweet in the mouth with rich oak and ripe fruit, but quite dry, with firm tannins that turn almond-skin bitter on the finish.
Dense, earthy and complex, with tightly wound blackberry, earth, cedar and tarry flavors. It's well-balanced and manages to tame the austere flavors to some extent. Needs cellaring and may always be on the chewy, rustic side.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Nuanced nose combines blackcurrant, blackberry, licorice, mint, rose petal and baking spices. Juicy and leanish but vibrant, with flavors of raw blackberry, cassis, violet and shoe polish. Shows a slightly dry currant leaf character but finishes with good cut and freshness.