Coffee and cocoa flavors are expressive but overshadow the ripe plum in this chunky, rather austere red. Rich and firm, but a bit drying on the finish.
Author: Thomas Matthews
International Wine Cellar | Rating: 93
Saturated dark ruby. Pungent, stony aromas of cassis, black raspberry, toast and flowers. A step up in intensity. As dense and lush as the regular bottling, but even firmer and more sharply delineated owing to the wine's strong minerality. Still, this offers truly enticing sweetness in the mouth. Strong oak tones on the very long finish.
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: September/October 1998
Wine Advocate | Rating: 92
The 1996 Cuvee Palomar is a 50% Cabernet Sauvignon / 50% Tempranillo blend. The latter varietal comes from a chalky hillside, and the Cabernet Sauvignon from a gravelly vineyard that was once a riverbed. The 1996 was aged in 100% new French oak, and bottled without filtration after 16 months of aging. It boasts an impressively saturated dark ruby/purple color, as well as complex aromas of cedar, new saddle leather, roasted herbs, and black currants. Rich, full-bodied, and harmonious, this elegant, yet authoritatively flavorful wine exhibits impressive purity and overall equilibrium. Moderate tannin in the finish suggests 2-3 years of bottle age will be beneficial. The wine is capable of lasting for 15 or more years.