2011 Hess Collection "Small Block Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L) (Previously $180)
A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon made in small amounts from multiple vineyards, including Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper in Oakville and the Somerston Vineyard on the eastern edges of the Napa Valley. Rich and concentrated in black plum and berry, this is a supple wine that's highlighted by a seasoning of dusty tannins and coconut shavings. The finish is awash in chocolate and cinnamon. (VB)
Never dramatic but always well-focused with a certain freshness and commendable stamina to its persistent, solidly currant-like fruit, this bottling is colored by scattered notes of Cabernet briar and loam and takes on a nice note of caramelly sweetness from its deftly placed oak. It is a tailored wine that is at once both full and carefully balanced, and it is a surprisingly approachable wine for its age but is nonetheless one that will be better with time, and it will gain added polish as its youthful tannins subside.
Firm, dense and well-structured, presenting a muscular, tannic mix of crushed rock, dried dark berry, cedar and herb notes. Patience is required, as the tannins are formidable at this stage. Best from 2015 through 2025. (JL)