Friday, January 11, 2019

Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Most visitors to Napa Valley have driven past the Whitehall Lane Winery on St Helena Highway in the Rutherford appellation just south of St Helena. The property has been owned and operated by Tom Leonardini and his family since they acquired Whitehall Lane Winery in March of 1993. Today the operations are managed by Tom, his wife and their five children.

We hold Whitehall Lane Napa Valley wines dating back to the turn of the century - Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Estate and Reserve. We too have passed by the Estate and Winery on St Helena Highway in Rutherford dozens of times during our trips to Napa Valley so this trip we decided to visit there during our Napa Valley Wine Experience 2018.

We tasted a flight of the Whitehall portfolio and acquired a selection of their current flagship Whitehall Lane Mancino Lanciatore Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 as well as
Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Syrah and their Petit Verdot from the 2014 vintage.

So when we went to the cellar to pull a Napa Cabernet to drink with a grilled steak dinner, I pulled this ten year old Whitehall Lane Napa Cab from the 2004 vintage.

The 2004 Napa Cabs were generally solid, dense, ripe Cabernets with plenty of power, richness, and longevity. It was an early harvest that was compact and proceeded at a rapid pace, with most growers finished by the end of September. Overall it was an excellent vintage that yielded superb, full-bodied, ripe, and powerful wines that were built to last.

The joy of a wine cellar is to drink wines over time and watch how they age and to enjoy them when they are seemingly at their peak. This label at ten years is probably at its apex, not likely to improve any further with aging, yet ageworthy to probably remain at this level for another five and perhaps ten years.

This was dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, nicely balanced, smooth and polished blackberry, currant and cherry fruits accented by notes of spicey oak turning to velvety tannins on a lingering finish.

RM 91 points.

This got 91 points from Wine Enthusiast.