De Sante, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville AVA, Napa Valley, California, USA, 2011
This wine: lot No. LDESAOK11, ostensibly varietal cabernet sauvignon (but at least one other recent vintage contains some % of cabernet franc), long (50mm) coated natural cork closure, 14% abv, BBR, ~£60 (12/19)
Consumer tasting note: a powerful blend of Napa cabernet sauvignon and I suspect, at least cabernet franc, with a rich spicy nose of black currant and cherry, morphing to warm black liquorice, right though to the end of the long finish; full bodied and carrying its high alcohol well, the palate is of rich ripe black cherry and black currant pastilles, along with liqourice, cedar and dark chocolate. A long length.
Drink now – RTD, but will keep for 2-4 years – Wait. Double decant for an hour.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears [a tiny quantity of fine sediment].
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of squashed ripe black cherry edged with spice and a faint toasty nuance, fragrant slightly lifted black currant with a creamy-lactic edge, touches of vanilla and cumin, candle wax, black liquorice with a slightly tarry frill, warm leaf humus, a hint of green herbs with an edge of green pepper, suggestive of cabernet franc in the blend, milk chocolate.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, fine grained ripe medium tannins, high alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth velvety texture with a sense of sweetness in mid-palate, with flavours of black cherry, black currant fruit pastilles, touch of spice, black liquorice, hint of cedar, dark chocolate. A long length, with a clean finish of rich black fruits, and a lingering note of warm black liquorice.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced fresh acidity and fine grained moderate tannins with well integrated unobtrusive high alcohol, harmonious with the rich flavour profile; a sound intensity throughout, with similar concentration; showing a much better than moderate rich developing complexity, with evidence of MLF (creamy-lactic), time in wood (cedar, chocolate, cumin, spice, toast, vanilla), and in bottle (cedar, leaf humus, wax). Finishes long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for 2-4 years – a sound acid-tannin structure and balance, drinking very well now, full of richness, with a pleasing balance of developing tertiary complexity, secondary spicy nuances, and rich primary fruit, not much to be improved upon.