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Average critic rating : 94.0 points
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Ark Vineyard, from a vineyard at the base of Howell Mountain, is deep, sensual and powerful. It shows terrific richness in its dark cherries, plums, mocha, licorice and tobacco. This is a totally gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon loaded with character. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2028. ||(Not yet released)||Proprietor Jayson Woodbridge makes some of the most unique, deeply personal wines in Napa Valley. Very late harvests and minimal intervention in the cellar, including no rackings until bottling, are just some of the choices that inform these wines. Woodbridge’s vineyards are in St. Helena (Kayli Morgan), the lower part of Howell Mountain (Ark) and Calistoga (Few and Far Between). Woodbridge is less reliant on outside consultants than many of his colleagues, so the wines bear very specific signatures that are unlike those of other wines being made in the Valley. The late harvests give the wines super-ripe fruit that can at times veer towards sweetness, but it is the extreme silkiness and finesse of the tannins that differentiates these wines. Woodbridge believes wines must be ready to go upon release and frowns upon decanting or advance aeration, which he doesn’t think should be necessary. As outstanding as these wines can be upon release, the reality is that the wines have also proven to age exceptionally well. I tasted a huge number of wines with Woodbridge and his team, but it was two wines with some bottle age (the 2000 and 2006 Kayli Morgan) that made the deepest impression. I hope Hundred Acre fans can find the discipline to put away a few bottles. The transformation of these wines in bottle is remarkable. These no-holds-barred Cabernets aren’t for everyone, but they are compelling and highly individualistic, just like Woodbridge himself.||Tel. (707) 967-9398 Wine Advocate.December, 2011
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