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Wow! I tried this a few years ago and resolved to wait. It was worth it. The nose was distinctive and quite strong. Initial notes of earth and old furniture on the nose along with a bit of spice. Mouthfeel is good and the initial flavor and tannins give way to rich coating layers of fruit and a taut and lingering finish. This was a stellar bottle.
St Helena - Cabernet Sauvignon Sympa Reserve (Block #1)
What a difference between the Sympa and the Scandale from 2008. While the Scandale is not working well right now, the Sympa is really signing. Dense fruit, almost a little bit of prune flavor and viscosity. This was very enjoyable with the classic rich napa fruit forward round mouthfeel. A winner. Would pair very nicely with hearty winter dishes with root vegetables.
St Helena - Cabernet Sauvignon Scandale
This seemed a bit austere and a little acidic on the attack but it warmed up after about an hour of decanting. I think it needs more time. Not drinking all that well at present - especially compared to its 2008 Sympa peer from the same house (which I tried a few days earlier - see review). I think this has potential but it wasn't doing much for me this go-around. Will hold for 3 years and try again. Not a bad wine by any stretch... But not great.
San Guido - Sassicaia
Very promising. Nose is stellar and enticing. Mouth feel is rich and smooth. Little spike of late acidity towars the end of the sip is my only reservation and it's minor. Maybe this will mellow and soften with some additional age. I think this will get better with time. Rated for what it is now.. . Could be a 96+ with another five years.
Ramey - Cabernet Sauvignon Pedregal Vineyard
Excellent oakville cab. Mouth coating berry with nicely round integrated tannins. Almost viscous on the tongue. Extraordinary depth and complexity as the flavors layer and then retract leaving a long finish. Dense berry, some loamy soil elements, a bit of maraschino cherry liquer and some roasted flavors. Attack gving way accentuates the feeling of roundness and density and balance. Excellent wine.