Friday, November 23, 2012

Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Reserve 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Reserve 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, $62.99-$69.99, 92 points, has the color of black currant to Shiraz purple, near black at the core with a clear rim.
The bouquet is massive with a near perfect blend of trace fragrances including oak, coffee, crushed sweet red raspberry, rose pedal, and sweet cooking spices; I would have no problem with you adding a list to that.
The medium-plus body has good acidity and approachable tannin.
Early palate intense spice nails the beginning of this wine, but a strong floral quality (typical for Whitehall's "big" cabs) dominates. However, the the rites of passage have just begun; you'll find flavors as varied as the nose. I found violets, licorice, chocolate, leather, chalky plum, and white pepper, much of which trailed into the long finish with a touch of heat (14.5%) alcohol). Some of this floral intensity does fade a bit with air, but so does the intensity of the wine.
Obviously some wine tasters like this style of wine, and I can appreciate this noble effort, but I'm not sure, at least for me, that all these flavors hold the Gestalt together.
The bottle design is regal, and the glass enclosure is exquisite.

It is now three days after I did this review and I'm just finishing the wine; I must say that an extended time of breathing has coalesced some conflicting aspects of the Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Reserve 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, and transformed it into a more focused presentation. Note that I've never done this for a wine before, but the transition has changed my opinion from: "not recommended (QPR)" to a NHWM recommend.
Whitehall Lane Winery


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  1. That's a fairly expensive bottle of wine...what is the most expensive bottle you have reviewed?

    1. V-girl, Sandrone Le Vigne 2004 Barolo is the answer! Considering that I was tempted by a $1,400 of Bordeaux, which I thought better of, this was a deal;-/

  2. Replies
    1. V-girl, I believe the first bottle was $114.99 and the second one (In the cellar) was $84.99.
      When I fist began drinking wine, I thought $15 was too much! I have received some very nice birthday gift wines, but they are waiting for that perfect moment. I am eager to taste the 2007 Opus one. I've heard so much about this wine and it being over-priced, and I understand some of the mixed feelings people have for RP, but I believe he said something like it was the best Opus yet. So yeah, I'm looking forward to that one in particular.