2011 Daou Vineyards "Seventeen Forty" Paso Robles Bordeaux Blend (Elsewhere $65)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even more impressive is the 2011 Seventeen Forty Reserve. A blend of 70% Cabernet Franc and 30% Merlot that spent 16 months in 70% new French oak, it possesses complex notes of tobacco leaf, black currants, lead pencil shavings and crushed flowers to go with a voluptuously textured, rich, yet focused and structured palate. The purity and balance here are impressive and this beauty will continue to shine through 2021. Drink now-2021. (JD)
This is an unusual blend of 70% Cabernet Franc and 30% Merlot. Itís full-bodied and rich in black cherries, currants, cola, sugared coffee and cedar, with a long, spicy finish that lasts the better part of a minute. Itís also tannic, and while the official alcohol reading is 14.2% by volume, feels hotter than than that. Delicious and refined, but itís hard to see it developing in the bottle, so drink over the next few years. - S.H.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(made from 70% cabernet franc and 30% merlot): Glass-staining ruby. Smoky, oak-spiced dark berries and cherry on the nose. Warm, palate-coating blackcurrant and bitter cherry flavors pick up a vanilla accent with air, along with notes of black cardamom and mocha. Closes on a smoky note, with lingering oak spice and cherry pit qualities.
Young and rustic, with rough-hewn notes of chewy dark berry, cedar, black licorice and mineral. Fans out and coats the palate, ending with chewy tannins. Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2022.