• 1986 Château Greysac - France, Bordeaux, Médoc
    Double-blind. Notes from scratch paper: Fruity leather nose with some heavy chocolate notes. Clearly a mature French Bordeaux at its peak. Tannic and dry on the palate but very fruity. The mouth slightly under-delivers compared to the nose however the wine has a few years left at its peak. I don't think the tannin will be able to balance the fruit. Drink soon. (91 pts.)
  • 1978 Zaca Mesa Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Double-blind. Consensus WOTN. Extremely balanced wine, very Californian style with several years left at the peak. Strong tannic wine with great leathery-fruity notes. Some tabacco notes and great dark currant. On the mouth it delivers in good balance with the nose. There's a large dark fruit profile with an excellent tannic balance. At peak now with no signs of fading. (94 pts.)
  • 1994 Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain Ranch Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain
    Double-Blind. Cannot find detailed notes. Seemed almost syrah-like in many ways. Much more fruity with a lot more berry notes than you would expect from a Cab. Seemed somewhat out of balance. I don't know if it needs more time or what, but it seemed a little off. There was some prominent fruit and some clear tannin, so maybe a few more years laying down would help. Very good wine, but did not compete with the other 2 bottles in the flight. If you have them, I'd suggest holding them. (90 pts.)

  • 1994 The Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Double-blind. Fruity, leathery nose with chocolate, currant, and a hint of olive. Dry tannic finish with big dark fruit notes on the palate. This wine seems to have quite a few years left in it an may continue to improve over the next few years. Worth keeping in the cellar for a couple of years but certainly a good choice to open now as well with a good decant. Good wine. (92 pts.)
  • 2003 Columbia Crest Walter Clore Private Reserve - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    Double-blind. Wow, what a HUGE wine. Some of the descriptions used were "Liquid chocolate", "A teenager with big feet and huge hands", "insignia-like", etc. Make no mistake, this wine was extremely out of whack and unbalanced with a massive fruit, jelly, and chocolate profile, but this thing needs several years before it even begins to mellow out. There's some nice tannin in there, but I'm not sure it will be enough to hold up against the gobs and gobs of fruit. I won't touch another bottle for at least 5 years, but this a pretty promising wine with "California" written all over it. Potential for 95+ if the tannin can work out the fruit. (90 pts.)
  • 2001 Elhers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Double-Blind. Decanted for one hour - not enough! As the night progressed this wine continued to evolved and everyone in the group continued to raise their scores. At the start of the night it was averaging under 90, by the end the night it was 92+. Great wine with lots of potential, but not worth opening yet. There were lots of sweet notes and a big currant profile. The mouth was very full and tannic. My only real complaint was how young and somewhat out of balance it was. Really a lot of potential but needs time in the bottle to work out the out of whack fruit profile. Stock up, and lay it down. (92 pts.)
  • 2003 Château Ferrière - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
    Double-blind. French? Really? It seems extremely Californian with a big fruit profile and practically non-existent French notes with only a touch of leather. A lot of blueberry on the palate with a big acid profile. Certainly needs some time to settle down but was a stand-out wine no less. As the night progressed it gained n popularity. Good bottle, but do not go into it with expectations of a truly French bottle of wine. (91 pts.)

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