Nice mouth feel; a bit sweet. I think this wine got better after being open about an hour... nice with grilled meats.
"We will sell no wine before its time." If you're a geezer like me, you may remember that this was the slogan for Paul Mason wines when Orson Welles was their pitchman in the 1970s and early 80s. And what happened to Paul Mason wines? I don't know for sure, but they must have fallen on hard times, because In 1986 Augustin Huneeus, a Chilean immigrant and then-president of Franciscan Vineyards, purchased the former Mason vineyard ranches near the Monterey town of Soledad on California's Central Coast, and established them as the home of Estancia Winery. The first replanting of the estate Pinnacles Vineyards was to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. I first started drinking Estancia's Cabernet Sauvignon in the late 80s. (The fruit must have been sourced from other local growers, because it wasn't until 1999 that almost 700 acres in Paso Robles were purchased as the vineyard home for Estancia's Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Red Meritage.) For the last 20 years, Estancia Cabernet Sauvignon has been my most reliable daily wine. I always keep a case or two in the cellar. When I first started drinking it, it was a steal at $8 a bottle. Today, the normal retail has drifted towards the $16-18 range, but it can occasionally be had for as little as $12 per bottle by the case if you regularly search wine sites for sales. However, even at retail it remains an excellent value. The color of this wine is classic deep purple. The nose is rather unassuming, and gives little prediction of what is to come. In the glass, the wine starts out quite fruit-forward, with plenty of dark black cherry and currant flavors. The fruit is aided and abetted by toasted sweet oak. Structure is provided by moderate and well-balanced tannins (which become more pronounced after an hour or so in the decanter), and just a hint of pepper and minerality. These tasting notes are based on the 2005 which I'm currently drinking, but it hardly matters. They must make this stuff in huge tanks or barrels and reserve a large quantity each year for blending, because Estancia Cabernet is the very definition of an unerring house style. I have no idea whether or not this Cab cellars well; it never stays there long enough. For all of my devotion to Estancia Cabernet Sauvignon, I don't find the same magic in the rest of their portfolio, which includes all of the usual suspects. The Chardonnay is nice enough, but doesn't stand out from other similarly priced Chards. The Pinot Noir is thin and unremarkable. The Meritage shows some finesse, but is a poor value at twice the price of the Cabernet. "
Tight wine that benefits greatly from decanting. Standard cab flavors, and a little much oak for me. After decanting it was well balanced with a lot of earthy flavors and a nice dry finish.
Meh...you get what you pay for. A little too bold and not smooth enough to pull it off.
Three and a half glasses