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Inky, almost black purple in color, this is all about the balance of power between waves of fruit, walls of tannin, round, opulent textures and palate staining, in your face, dark, incredibly ripe, sweet, juicy, smoky berries that just don't quit. The wine was made from a blend of Made from 44% Syrah , 32% Grenache , 12% Petite Sirah , 8% Mourvedre and 4% Touriga Nacional.
97 points - Tasted May 28, 2017
Deep, rich, lush, concentrated, and with a purity of fruit, you find sweet, ripe kirsch, black plum, thyme, jam, spice and peppery aromatics. There is weight and density that emanates from old vine Grenache, but everything is in balance and harmony. At 10 years of age, this is showing really great today.
95 points - Tasted May 25, 2017
Medium bodied and focused on its fresh, bright, red berry character, with plenty of pepper, herbs, earth and spicy cherries to go around.
90 points - Tasted May 25, 2017
What a beauty from start to finish. Sexy, silky tannins, elegantly styled, with ripe, fresh, fruits, length, complexity and depth. A treat to drink at 17, and with age, it's going to get even better!
96 points - Tasted May 24, 2017
Well past its prime, the wine has lost much of its fruit and is showing mostly, secondary characteristics, with more acidity than fruit on the palate. Not much fun to drink. If you're holding any remaining bottles, I'd finish them sooner than later as this is not going to get better, and will jjjust continue losing fruit.
85 points - Tasted May 24, 2017
A sweet treat indeed. Not as dense as many 2003 Sauternes , but you find more than enough vanilla, custard, apricot, pineapple and white peach with the right amount of honey and freshness to put a smile on the face of any sweet wine aficionado.
93 points - Tasted May 24, 2017
At close to 45 years of age, this still has its old school charm intact, with its tobacco, cedar wood, cassis and tart, red berry profile. Medium/full bodied, and with a bit too much tart over sweet fruit, with rustic tannins in the finish, it's still a fun look back at the old school, California Cabernet Sauvignon .
90 points - Tasted May 24, 2017
The lightest vintage of JL Chave Hermitage I remember tasting. Elegant, perhaps Burgundian is the best term for this wine. There is personality, along with a very, bright, if not crisp red fruit character, which all adds up to early drinkability, but this is a not a vintage for long term aging.
91 points - Tasted May 24, 2017
A severe style of Palmer , with a strict, lean, personality, a bit too much acidity, and greeness in the finish. The wine was much better on the nose than on the palate.
87 points - Tasted May 24, 2017
Beautifully structured, concentrated with perfectly ripe, sweet, black and blue fruits, soft tannins, opulent textures and length. This is drinking great today. There is not much to be gained by waiting, so if you have a bottle, pop a cork when you're in the mood.
97 points - Tasted May 24, 2017
A perfect ringer for a Bordeaux blind tasting, the wine has freshness, refinement, soft tannins, and while the fruit is perfectly ripe, here, you find all the fresh, sweet, red and black fruits you could hope for, without any jammy, or overripe notes. Lots of cedar, tobacco and earthy, forest notes only add to the fun. Drink now, or hold...
94 points - Tasted May 24, 2017
It is hard to believe this is so young, and its over 30 years of age. But the truth is in the bottle. Full bodied, concentrated, powerful, and tannic, with loads of fruit, but a wall of tannin that is not yet resolved. Think of 1986 Bordeaux and you get the picture. Not my bottle, but I am happy to have a few stashed away in my cellar.
94 points - Tasted May 24, 2017
This old codger easily showed off its Christmas spice, orange, clove, dark cocoa, butterscotch and cherry liqueur profile. On the palate, the wine is bright, piquant, long and tangy, with its high acidity almost kept in check with its equally high level of acidity. It's always a thrill to drink bottled history.
95 points - Tasted May 23, 2017
Medium bodied, forward and quite easy to taste today. The elegant, fresh kirsch, garrigue, peppery strawberry and olive character is already coming through loud and clear. Not a wine to age, this is perfect for early drinking pleasure.
91 points - Tasted May 22, 2017
Still showing a serious depth of color here, this is an incredibly intense tasting experience. The wine is massive, yet, balanced. Ripe, but not overripe, although there is a sensation of jam on top of all the dark red, peppery fruits. Thick enough to eat, the spicy kirsch, horsey barnyard, garrigue and wet earth really make an impression. Rich and endless on your palate, this is still young. Give it an hour or two of air, or wait another 6-8 years. This is a unique styling of Chateauneuf du Pape that is not repeated in other wines.
98 points - Tasted May 21, 2017
Mr. Ed, so this is where you have been hiding. This wine, or at least this bottle shows a lot of barnyard notes. But that does not keep the floral, earthy, smoky, citrus, kirsch and pepper and garrigue from making an appearance. Concentrated, long, deep and intense, this is ready to drink.
97 points - Tasted May 21, 2017
Continuing to come on strong, with secondary notes galore of barnyard, earth, garrigue and peppery kirsch. Full bodied, concentrated and long, this is a unique styling of Southern Rhone that needs to be tasted at least once or twice.
96 points - Tasted May 21, 2017
Fully mature, and not quite the level as the last bottle, but at this age, both the wine and I, anything can happen. On the nose, truffle, olive, earth, forest floor and plums were right there. Soft and gentle in texture, the fruit was mixed with herbs, earth and olive, adding old school character to the dark, cherry notes. There is no reason to age this classic, evolved Pomerol any longer. Drink up.
93 points - Tasted May 20, 2017
Much better and more interesting than anticipated, the sweet, orange and tropical fruits had loads of lift, length and complexity. Fully mature, this is great with, or as dessert.
95 points - Tasted May 20, 2017
Ripe, sweet and with searing acidity, the candied apricot, pineapple, mango and tangerine fruits coated with all that delicious honey hit the spot. This is a very specific, full bodied, concentrated, bright style of Sauternes, as the wine is not aged in oak. So, while you get the sweetness, there is no vanilla, caramel or fat from oak. Instead you find more purity of fruit and higher levels of acidity, with an orange peel leaning. This is a good thing here, as the wine was delcious to the last drop.
94 points - Tasted May 20, 2017
Everything is headed in the right direction here. Still young, so at least 2 hours of air is needed to bring out the soft, silky textures, freshness and complexity. Full bodied and concentrated, there is a brightness to the fruit that pairs well with its plummy, earthy, truffle and dark chocolate core. Air or 7 years of rest will bring this around to its full level of enjoyment.
95 points - Tasted May 20, 2017
It is hard to believe this comes from 100% Howell Mountain fruit, because it is so lush, and polished. But it does. Using 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, planted high up, above the fog line at 2,000 feet, the wine is concentrated, with depth of flavor, complexity and richness. Inky in color, and still young, you can easily pop a cork and drink this today, or age it for a decade or more. This is the flagship wine from the Adams family. The wine is a blend of the 4 best barrels from the vintage.
96 points - Tasted May 19, 2017
Sharp, bright, crisp and on the very fresh side. Bright yellow citrus, pomelo and stone in character, the finish leaves you with a bite of fresh juicy lemon, without much sugar. I do not get why people pay this much money for this wine.
87 points - Tasted May 19, 2017
Just a beauty and showing in the sweet spot, the wine delivers fresh, ripe, sweet, red fruits, hints of pepper, espresso and underbrush. On the palate, the wine is lushly textured and leaves you with ample kirsch in the end note.
94 points - Tasted May 19, 2017