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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