2005 Quintessa Rutherford Bordeaux Blend
It is hard not to be taken in by the lovely, sweet oak perfumes that take the early lead here, yet there is plenty of bright, young fruit beneath its vanillin veneer, and the wine proves to be fairly complete. Only a slight last-minute drop-off in fruit holds it back from higher award just now, but we do not rule out its chances for better as its knits together and hopefully expands with a stay of a few years in the cellar.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Full ruby-red. Complex aromas of currant, mocha, tobacco leaf, smoke and spicy oak. Suave on entry, then distinctly firm-edged in the middle, but with good intensity to the flavors of dark cherry, currant, licorice and herbs. In a rather Old World style, with a restrained sweetness and a light leafy quality. Finishes with firm, building tannins that will require time in bottle to soften.
The tannins leap out first, big and hard in the way of a young Cabernet, and immediate gratification is not what this wine is about. But it has impressive black currant flavors and needs time. Should be best after 2010.
A classic, Bordeaux-style blend made by winemaker Charles Thomas, the 2005 Quintessa is wonderfully complex, though a bit closed on the nose right now. Layers of black fruit and sweet French oak peel back on the palate to reveal velvety tannins and a sweet fruit and spice finish.