2009 Lancaster Estate Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $70)
Wine & Spirits
Phil Freese joined the Lancaster team in 2009, consulting on viticulture at this 53-acre vineyard in southeastern hills of Alexander Valley. Jesse Katz was recruited by consulting winemaker David Ramey in 2010. They worked together on this polished, savory blend of five Bordeaux varieties (cabernets sauvignon and franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot). The fruit is explosive, a blast of cherry and blueberry, tamped down by the hillside tannins so it tastes ripe but not over the top. The fruit richness lasts, spiced by the tannins into an elegant length. Delicious to decant now and well suited to aging.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Lancaster Estate's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a huge, dark wine endowed with serious power and richness throughout. Grilled herbs, smoke, tobacco and incense all wrap around a serious, intense core of black fruit. A muscular, virile Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2009 needs another year or two in bottle to fully come together. Hints of graphite, menthol and road tar add further complexity. The 2009 is brooding and even a bit somber, but beautiful. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. I continue to be deeply impressed with Lancaster Estate. The winemaking team, headed by Jesse Katz and consulting winemaker David Ramey, is hitting all the right notes. The estate was sold to Bill Foley during the harvest of 2012, but hopefully things won-t change too much.
Tight in structure, with a core of ripe cherry and blackberry shaded by cedar and fresh earth. Comes to life midpalate, then veers toward chewy, tobacco-laced tannins. Best from 2014 through 2024. 4,058 cases made.
All of Lancaster Estate's wines are produced on their 53 acres of estate hillside vineyards in Alexander Valley. The fine growing season in 2009 produced a Cabernet of considerable structure and fine acidity to offer excellent aging potential. The Cabernet is complemented by 7% Malbec, 6% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and was aged for 24 months in 80% new French oak. From the winery: "Aromas of black cherry, clove, nutmeg, and blackberry are followed by subtle notes of red plum, cassis and vanilla on the palate. The persistent and elegant finish exhibits hints of cocoa, dark fruit and a lingering minerality."