2008 Snowden "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $75)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good medium ruby. Aromas of dark cherry, smoke, graphite and rocky minerality, lifted by a violet topnote. Juicy, spicy and sharply delineated, with lovely floral lift contributing to the impression of clarity and giving the wine a light touch. A nicely broad midweight with captivating floral perfume and fine-grained but firm tannins. Snowden told me that at first she thought the 2008s were a lot like the 2006s-i.e., wines from tiny berries that were tannic and tightly wound in the early going. "But now I think that '08 will be a nice early drinker, without quite the same structure or richness as 2007." I liked this wine's aromatic lift and refinement.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A dramatic upgrade, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve exhibits aromas of creme de cassis, burning embers, licorice and smoked herbs. It ratchets up the body, concentration and depth yet possesses silky smooth tannins and a forward style. This beauty should drink well for 15+ years. While Snowden's 2008s do not approach their brilliant 2007s in quality, they are very strong efforts from this 22-acre vineyard (11 acres are in the process of being replanted). Snowden produces just under 2,000 cases of extraordinary wine from their 23 acres of hillside vineyards on the eastern side of Napa, above the Auberge du Soleil. Proprietor Scott Snowden and his daughter, Diane (whose permanent home is in Burgundy), along with consultant David Ramey have fashioned superb reds along with a delicious, French-inspired Sauvignon Blanc. For Napa Cabernets, Snowden’s wines are relatively great bargains for their quality.
Sleek and refined, with a tart edge to the currant and wild berry flavors. Medium- to full-bodied, this is a wine of finesse and grace, finishing with a watermelon candy edge. A good bet to improve. Best from 2012 through 2022.