Drink Dates: 2003-2011
A library release straight from BV?s cellars ? a steal at this price. The cork disintegrated once it came into contact with a corkscrew. Once the big chunks were extracted, a still dark with brownish orange tints at the edge wine revealed itself. The first drought vintage BV was initially dismissed as too brawny and powerful. In 2003, the monster has put on a tuxedo and is ready to perform. Who says California Cabernets can'tage gracefully? Upon opening a gigantic nose streamed from the bottle and glass filling the room with complex ever changing scents of Chinese five spice powder, Rutherford dust, sandalwood, deep black cherry and plummy fruit, white pepper, rhubarb, chlorine, sage, celery salt, and cardamom. Powerfully constituted but with a coolness and grace that can only be achieved by a wine from a noble lineage who has lain untouched for decades. Tannins still show but time has rendered them silky. The finish lasts and lasts. This wine reminds me quite forcefully that the old guard can hold its own and then some when given a chance. Subtle yet hedonistic at the same time. I hope I am still here when the 2001 BV Private Reserve turns 27 years of age in 2028. The 76 easily dispatches the 74 and frankly I prefer it to the 70 and 68. A tour de force that bests any 76 Bordeaux one can throw at it. What a fool Walter Sullivan was when he sold BV to Heublein for a relative pittance over 30 years ago. Drink now to 2011 (probably longer. My last bottle will be consumed in 2026).