2008 Lancaster Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Year: 2008
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 90
Connoisseurs' Guide: 91
Wine Enthusiast: 94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.6%
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"Rich and gutsy, with dense, extracted, well-focused dark fruit, blackberry, wild berry, black licorice and loamy earth, ending with savory herb notes and thick tannins. This winery continues to make gains. Drink now through 2022. 3,134 cases made." (WS)

"The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate bursts from the glass with blackberries, cassis, grilled herbs, smoke and licorice, all of which are beautifully woven together. This ripe juicy Cabernet presents an exotic, super-ripe profile balanced by a firm sense of structure. Not a bad combination, to say the least. Freshly cut flowers, mint and licorice are layered into the energetic, vibrant finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

Unfortunately I was only able to taste one wine from Lancaster, but it is a stunner. David Ramey is on board as consulting winemaker. Hopefully the 2008 is a sign of great things to come." (WA)

"(blended with 4% malbec, 2% merlot and 1% each cabernet franc and petit verdot): Bright red-ruby. Aromas of black cherry, licorice and menthol are complemented by spicy oak. Smooth, lush and full, with a spicy sassafras quality adding lift to the currant and chocolate flavors. This round, seamless wine finishes with a fine dusting of tannins and good grip." (IWC)

"Sourced from the very southern end of the Alexander Valley area and in the hills that extend from the Chalk Hill area, this is not quite the typical wine that one gets from its listed provenance. It is, however, very much in keeping with what Lancaster has been producing from its own patch over the years. Young, substantial and deeply fruited with convincing Cabernet credentials to its credit, this wine smells and tastes of cassis with wisps of mint and roasted vanilla bean. Full in body, rich in feel and very noticeably tannic without losing its way, it is sure to last out the decade. Reviewed: May 2012" (CG)

"A great Cabernet that will proudly stand beside the best of Napa Valley. Made in the modern style, it’s soft and sweet in blackberry, cherry, currant and dark-chocolate flavors, but the finish is thoroughly dry, wrapped in a scour of tannins and acids. So good to drink now, you might forget to age it, but don’t. This will provide plenty of deliciousness over the… " (WE)

Winery Notes:
The 2008 Lancaster Estate Cabernet Sauvignon had very low yields which resulted in dense concentration, layered tannins, and remarkable structure. This blend of all five classic Bordeaux varietals, fully represents the diverse character of the Estate’s hillside vineyards. Rich and focused tannins, followed with an artful balance of dark cherries, cassis, and vanilla. The long, layered finish has hints of dark Chocolate/Mocha, elegantly complimented with aromas of currant, nutmeg ,blackberry and earthen minerality. To maintain authenticity of expression, the 2008 Lancaster Estate Cabernet was gently fined and bottled unfiltered.

The 2008 vintage was characterized by low winter rain followed by a dry and frosty spring. In anticipation of spring frost, we delayed our final pruning until late March. This encouraged the soft and tender buds to push later in the season, avoiding much of the damaging late spring frosts. In spite of our efforts, yields were 30% below normal. As we have learned in our fourteen year stewardship, our vineyards are subject to more moderate growing conditions than the warmer and highly regarded Oakville or Rutherford regions. Vintage 2008 was no exception. This cooler, longer growing season resulted in grapes with excellent phenolic maturity and impeccably well balanced sugars and acids. The 2008 Lancaster Estate wines demonstrate, velvety structure, great concentration of fruit and vibrant, bright acidity.