2004 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
***Three Stars** Proportion and admirable varietal precision are the watchwords of this beautifully made wine, and it reminds that great Cabernet is born from balance and depth more than unbridled ripeness. Lightly dusty with deft touches of briar and loam comfortably tied to its classic, ripe-currant fruit, the wine has plenty of mass but is always light on its feet with integral tannins doing their part in providing structural spine. Wines of this crafting usually tempt early drinking, and, though we would not complain at a glass in a few years.
Wine & Spirits
Cathy Corison blends this wine from the benchland vineyards that neighbor her Kronos estate vineyard in St. Helena. The substantial black fruit has figlike flavors, while what's beautiful about the wine is the tannin;dark and mineral in flavor, satin in texture, all of a piece with the fruit. The wine brightens with air, a sleek red with the juicy richness of finely grown benchland cabernet.
We all wonder if those cult Cabs will age, but there's no doubt that this is a cellar guarantee. Cathy Corison makes her Cabs less ripe than many others, so the alcohol is lower and the acids and tannins are harder and drier. Thatís in youth. But such is the depth of cherry, blackberry, cassis, cedar and mineral flavors and overall balance that this complex young wine should easily negotiate the next 15 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright medium ruby. Aromas of cassis, blackberry, dark chocolate, licorice and minerals. Rich, chewy and deep; quite fat and full for this wine (the alcohol levels are a relatively high-for-Corison 14% in '04), with a chocolatey sweetness. Finishes with lovely ripe, building tannins.
Very dark crimson. Then lovely spreading gorgeousness with fine tannins and apparent Cabernet Franc refreshment effect on the palate yet mellow, fully ripe HAPPY fruit. Great balance. This is not desperately intense or hot or massive or tannic, itís just so gentle and harmonious. A fine riposte to high alcohol Cabs.