"Sometimes there are years in the extreme hills that are perfectly suited to balancing the ruggedness of the wines traditionally produced there. 2004 with its brutal heat in late August turned out to be one of those years. Everything about this wine is a bit sweeter and rounder ... More of a saturated matte black color, the nose is pure bittersweet chocolate with waves of cassis. The palate moves to big Howell Mountain spice, espresso roast, toasted bread, Asian spice and black fruits. There is no shortage of tannin in this wine, it is just a bit riper and sweeter than more traditional vintages ..."
Wine Spectator (WS): 89
"... focused, with firm tannins wrapped around dried currant, anise and hazelnut flavors. ... this is rich and concentrated, picking up loamy earth and berry flavors."