Cardinale Red Wine 1997
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Wine Advocatekout nose of black cherry liqueur intermixed with cassis, lead pencil, mineral, and smoky oak. The glorious richness in the mouth is backed up by a full-bodied, opulently-textured, super-extracted wine that is neither heavy nor ponderous. Stunning purity, a fabulous multi-layered impression, and a finish that goes on for nearly a minute make this the most exciting Cardinale to date. For statisticians, this is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot, of which 79% of the grapes came from Napa and 21% from Sonoma. It spent 22 months in 100% new French oak before being bottled with neither fining nor filtration. It tips the scales at 14.2% alcohol. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2030.
Wine EnthusiastThe lovely bouquet of blackberry jam, oak with mint, cedar, and black olives draws you in. Broad and rich on the palate, with ample but fine tannins. Great depth of dark-berry fruit, with coffee and cedar shadings. The explosive finish just keeps going as intriguing sweet-tart fruit and bitter chocolate notes please all the way out. Best to hold six to nine years.
Wine SpectatorWonderfully proportioned, smooth and ripe, with rich black cherry, currant, wild berry and spice, offering depth and complexity, turning elegant and sophisticated. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2001 through 2009.