2009 Anakota "Helena Dakota" Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
An extra special wine, the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard possesses full body as well as a terrific bouquet of blue and black fruits, crushed rocks and spring flowers. A super-muscular, rich, powerful Cabernet built for long-term cellaring (which may explain why it has not yet been released), I would not touch a bottle for 5-7 years. It should last 30-50 years. Made by Kendall-Jackson’s Bordelais winemaker Pierre Seillan, these wines represent the pinnacle of what they hope to achieve in high elevation sites in Knights Valley, an area increasingly being utilized by Napa producers given the great success Peter Michael and Kendall-Jackson have had in this region. These limited production 2009s and 2010s made at high elevation vineyards (Helena Dakota is at 750 feet, and the Helena Montana is at 950 feet) have not yet been released. These highly extracted, rich, full-bodied wines may have limited appeal given their aging potential and broodingly backward characters. All of these offerings are 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that were aged in 100% French oak for 15 months prior to bottling. The alcohols came in between 14.2% and 14.8%. I gave slightly higher scores to the Helena Dakota cuvees, perhaps because they were showing more accessibility. (RP)
A drop-dead gorgeous wine, the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard is more overt than is often the case. At the same time, there is plenty of underlying structure; it's just that those elements are nearly buried by the fruit. Layers of cool, intense, minerality support the fruit, giving the wine its energy, delineation and nuance. Layers of blackberry jam, violets, cloves and graphite develop over time, adding tons of nuance and complexity, especially on the finish. This compelling 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon captures the very best qualities of the year.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep medium ruby. Precise aromas of black raspberry, licorice, espresso and spices. Less obviously sweet in the early going than the Helena Dakota, showing more mineral firmness to the flavors of black raspberry, spices and tobacco. Finishes very long and firm, with solid tannic structure for aging.
*Cellar Selection* This dark, dense Cabernet Sauvignon is extraordinarily concentrated, with blackberry and black currant fruit, and superripe suggestions of raisins. It’s very dry and tannic, but should achieve elegance and balance with 6–8 years in the cellar.