Etude Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
VM91+: Bright medium ruby. Black cherry, crushed blackberry and licorice aromas are complicated by hints of tar and dried herbs. At once supple and firm, with brisk acidity giving shape to the dark berry, licorice and tar flavors. Still a bit bound-up, even youthfully grapey, but essentially fine-grained, finishing with firm but ripe tannins and noteworthy persistence. A bit suaver and more refined than the 2004 release, this may yet expand with more bottle age.
WA90+: The founder of this brand, Tony Soter, is now flourishing as a wine producer in Oregon, but he used to be a prominent producer in Napa. His 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc) has a dense purple color, with restrained notes of oak, black fruits, and loamy soil tones. Youthful firmness and grip suggest this wine is not yet near full maturity. It is concentrated, medium to full-bodied, pure and meticulously well-made. Nevertheless it’s not singing as of yet, although all the component parts are there for a promising future. Give it another 2-3 years and drink it over the next 15 years.