Amici Cellars2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
While winemaker Jeff Hansen keeps looking around for an old winery to house his brand, he’s been turning out well-balanced, interesting, small batches of red wines for Amici since 1992. This 2003 Cabernet is a prime example.
From two neighboring vineyards on the St. Helena-Rutherford line [Borges (St. Helena), Alioto (Rutherford)], it’s perfumed with sweet blackberry and is smooth, lush, round and sexy in the mouth. There’s a goodly dose of oak in front but that I think will get integrated with time. Hold onto it for a year and then drink it over the next 10.
Perusing the technical notes, one is astonished – and pleased – that the listed alcohol is “only” 13.4 percent, not that we don’t believe the literature, but that number is virtually unheard of any longer in Napa Valley Cabs. Perhaps it’s because Hansen picked relatively early for the vintage – September 25 at 25 Brix of sugar – where if he had waited through the entire month of October, those numbers would have risen. But this wine doesn’t need anymore pushing. I think its swell the way it is.
The aforementioned oak to which I alluded, consisted of half new French barrels for 23 months. There were 1,800 cases produced.
Reviewed July 25, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.
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.