he companionship of 13% Merlot tames the Cabernet nicely, adding a delectable softness and brighter red fruit. Mountain brush and dried violets introduce cherry cola, sweet tobacco and blackberry flavors. This is a fresh, clean take on Cabernet that would be a match made in heaven with grilled steak and a freshly mown lawn.
From three of the winery's heritage vine- yards—Mt. George in Coombsville; Silverado Vineyard; and Oakville Station, a historic site overseen by UC Davis—this melodic red (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 1% Cab Franc) aged 18 months in 48% new oak (mostly French, with a smaller percentage of Hungarian and American). Following a perfume of mountain brush, dried violets, blackberry, and slate, the palate makes a bold and elegant state- ment; its reserved power and beauty show in notes of spiced cedar, sweet tobacco, and a melange of Italian herb–seasoned blue, red, and black fruit.