Carter Coliseum Block 07 Cabernet

This is a big point, thoroughly hyped wine.  I think that Wine Spectator dedicated an entire issue to making sure that everybody in the US knows the Carter name and how exceptional the wines are.  With that much press, there isn't much room for error.  Not even marginal performance.

With all that being said, the wine was pretty good. I had it in a lineup of several other Napa producers (Shafer and Raymond,) and it stood out as the biggest and showed the most depth.  (The Raymond was a reserve, but the Shafer was a Syrah, so not a completely apples to apples comparison. )  The overarching characteristic that I took home from the wine is that it was very primary.  I don't know what that says about the wine, maybe it is still young or fresh or something like that.  But the wine had that flower bud and ripe, ground grape skin aroma components which I associate with primary fermentation.

Notes: the nose showed primary fruit characteristics with blueberry liquer, violet flowers, and deep fruits.  The palate was big, dense, well structured and impressive.  The thing that set this wine apart from the others in the tasting was the depth; the palate persisted for a long time; the fruits and tannins were strong and clean.  Darker fruits seemed to be the predominant feature of the palate, accompanied by lots of oak.  This is a grande Cab, and will probably be coming out of adolescence in the next 4-5 years and aging well into the next decade.

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May 2011
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