Stuhlmuller’s regular 2008 Cabernet, released a year ago, was quite good. This one’s even better. It has all the hallmarks of a superior Cabernet, with rich, delicious blackberry, cherry, licorice, Dr. Pepper cola and oak flavors, framed into soft, intricate tannins. With a pleasant minerality, it should age well through 2016, gradually losing fruit. — S.H. (3/1/2012)
Opaque ruby. Sexy, oak-spiced aromas of blackberry and cherry, with complicating smoke and floral pastille nuances that build with air. Lush and broad on entry, then brighter in the mid-palate, offering intense dark berry flavors that show liqueur-like depth. Blends richness and vivacity smoothly, finishing with persistent cola, spice and blue fruit notes. Josh Raynolds
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, which has some Petite Sirah added to the blend (6.5%), displays an intriguing nose of blue fruits, lavender, spice box and black currants. The wine is chewy, full-bodied, more tannic and oaky, and certainly capable of 10+ years of aging. However, I see a similar pattern in that less expensive Cabernet Sauvignon, much like a less expensive Chardonnay, is overall a more appealing wine because of the fruit character and the absence of any glaring wood. Nevertheless, the wine will benefit from 1-2 years of bottle age and should drink nicely for 10-15 years.
These wines have shown consistently well in my tastings. Moreover, they represent excellent value for high quality.
""The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve's inky/ruby/purple color is followed by sweet blackberry, lavender, allspice and toasty oak aromas. Full-bodied and powerful, with silky tannins and rich layers, it can be drunk over the next 10-15 years." ..."
"This distinguished Cabernet deserves its reserve status. It shows the softness and herbal quality of alexander valley, along with rich tiers of red currants, cherry pie and mocha flavors. the tannic structure gives it special complexity. ..."
"Dense, chewy and quite woody now. Underneath the oak lies a thick, dense core of chewy currant, black licorice, mineral and blackberry fruit that's tightly wound, deeply concentrated and long and focused on the finish. Drink now through 2016...."
"Bright violet. Intensely perfumed bouquet of red-and blackcurrant, camphor, pipe tobacco and black pepper, with a hint of dried rose in the background. Taut and focused, offering linear dark berry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of bitter chocolate. Pretty uncompromising cabernet, finishing with strong cut and a persistent note of peppery spice. This should age slowly." Josh Raynolds