Bialla Vineyards2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
OK, Vito Bialla is obviously trying to make a statement. That proclamation goes something like this: I’m new, my wine is good, and you should pay attention to me. That supposition is not evident
in Bialla’s apparent mild-mannered demeanor. But it’s evident that his wine, in its second release, is shouting with the volume set on high.
From 1,700 feet on Atlas Peak, Bialla’s Cabernet – up a little more than 15 percent in price from his 2003 release – is blowsy and showy with 100 percent new French oak (22 months aging), ripe fruit, and a listed alcohol percentage of 15.8. While the previous rendition was $13 less and three-tenths of a percentage point lower in alcohol, both wines, made by Craig MacLean, somehow show restraint.
On the nose there are layered aromas of tar and black fruit, no doubt from the head-trained, cane-pruned one acre of vines. There are whiffs of eucalyptus and mint. In the mouth, there’s a sweet mouthful of that same black fruit with a texture that’s substantial and rich. And in the end, the wine is in check and in balance, although some might (I didn’t) feel the heat from the alcohol. The wine is big and young, however, and it needs time, perhaps two years and it will age for I guess, 20.
Reviewed February 16, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.
Other reviewed wines from Bialla Vineyards
2003 Bialla Vineyards
(Napa Valley)Alan Goldfarb 5/9/2006
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.