(from a very exposed west-facing site at an elevation of 1,200 feet, on Crystal Springs Road north of St. Helena; these 2008s were bottled in January of this year): Deep ruby. Aromas of dark cherry, menthol and violet complicated by sage, anise and earth. Dense for the vintage but with lovely mid-palate definition and finesse. A rather dark and brooding wine with the stuffing to buffer its considerable tannins. This has a pH of 3.76 and sound natural acidity of 6.3 grams per liter. I underrated this wine a year ago from barrel, which is not the first time I've done this. (Incidentally, there will be little or none of the Hershey Vineyard wine in 2008, as these vines on Howell Mountain were hit hard by the spring frost.)
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: May/June 2011
Wine Spectator | Rating: 91
Dense, tight and concentrated, this is very restrained, yet with intense, focused mineral and dark and dried berry flavors at the core. Full-bodied and still a bit ragged, with chewy tannins.
Author: James Laube
Wine Advocate | Rating: 94
The flagship offering is the Lotus Vineyard cuvee. The 2007 was pure perfection and the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Lotus Vineyard is another impressive effort (about 200 cases produced). Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Clones 337, 4 and 15, this is a relatively high elevation (1,200 feet) site and because of that, the wine shows lots of minerality and freshness. Expansive black currant and blackberry notes intermixed with graphite and flower aromas are followed by a full-bodied wine with lots of structure, density and purity. This 2008 requires 4-5 years of cellaring and can be enjoyed over the following two decades.