*2004 Cardinale Estate Red
Cardinale Estate Red, Napa Valley, USA 2004
Winemaker Chris Carpenter has turned out a brilliant wine that’s a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot, from the To-Kalon, Taylor, Veeder Peak and Keyes vineyards, so this is definitely a cross-Napa Valley offering. This wine has an opaque purple color, a big sweet kiss of licorice, incense, lead pencil shavings and a boatload of creme de cassis and blueberry liqueur. Tannins are present, but ripe, and the wine is voluptuously textured and full-bodied, with stunning purity and stature on the palate. (RP)
The core of Cardinale is estate vineyards located in two prime sub-appellations, Mount Veeder and Howell Mountain. The supporting components come from mountain and benchland plantings in Spring Mountain, Diamond Mountain, St. Helena and Stags Leap. Mountain-grown fruit is elemental to Cardinale, as vines struggle in the thin, rocky soils and on steep slopes, thus producing grapes with intense flavor, layered complexity and age-worthy tannins. At lower elevations, the fruit has a more vivid floral character, rich mid-palate and finer tannins. Blending brings it all together into a singular wine.