As I reported last year, the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Madrona Ranch is a perfect Cabernet Sauvignon. It has been in bottle for over a year, and this wine, like all the others, has easily soaked up its aging in 100% new Taransaud barrels. It is a sumptuous, unctuously-textured, fabulously concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon that hits all the sweet spots on the palate, and puts the olfactory senses into overdrive. The wine smells and tastes perfect. It is a compelling effort that one day will be considered part of a small group of elite California Cabernets that may be rewriting the definition of greatness in Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 1997 boasts an opaque black/purple color as well as a gorgeous bouquet of roasted meats, scorched earth, blackberry, creme de cassis, minerals, and toast. The soaring aromatics are matched by a phenomenally intense, seamless palate, with full-bodied opulence, exquisite purity and symmetry, and a multidimensional finish that lasts for nearly a minute. This wine will be delicious when released next year, and will last for 25-30 years. It is a tour de force in winemaking.