This is one of the finest Opus Ones to date, offering a dark ruby/purple color, as well as a striking, intense bouquet of sweet licorice intermixed with blackberries, cassis, plums, and saddle leather. This seamless, full-bodied wine is more velvety-textured, opulent, and succulent than past vintages. The mid-palate is expansive and chewy. The long finish is filled with glycerin, ripe fruit, and sweet tannin. Drink this impressive, user-friendly yet richly concentrated effort over the next 15 years.
Dark, rich and intense, with layers of currant, blackberry, cedar and spice. The flavors are still youthful, yet this turns drier and earthier from midpalate on, with a brambly sage edge on the finish. The best of four bottles.--1996 California Cabernet retrospective. Drink now through 2012. ?JL