I apologize for the lateness of my report, but I just got back from a late lunch / early dinner with my friend. So here are my conclusions:
All indications being that this was going to be a strong, full bodied Napa cab, I ordered filet mignon, medium rare, to ensure optimal pairing. Inspecting the first glass against the light showed the liquid to be a clear, yet dark, red. Agitation revealed strong legs and released an aroma of berries and heat.
Expecting the tannins the be dominant, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the mouthfeel was smooth and that the wine was well balanced, though a shade of astringency was perceptible in the finish (though those with more mature palates will likely find this a positive quality).
Progressing through the glass, the flavor of berries became dominant. We were able to parse blueberry, blackberry and cherry from among the mélange of flavors. While I felt blueberry to be dominant, my friend quibbled that cherry was the more prevalent flavor. Over the course of our dinner I pinpointed chocolate notes developing on the finish (perhaps the consequence of aging in oak?) though my friend argued tobacco (or possibly truffle) to be the more evident flavor.
In terms of the potential for this wine to improve with cellaring, I would say that it is possible for more fruit to emerge as this wine ages, though my personal feeling is that the wine is ready to be consumed now. RPM brings up an excellent point in noting that the fruit may well not blossom with age, and though the potential for improvement over time exists, we were quite satisfied with the wine’s present balance (though, admittedly, I am a sucker for berry).
Any sense of an imposing astringency faded with the second glass and the wine began to hint at potential complexities that would reward those diligent and perceptive enough to parse them out (I still think the finish hints at chocolate, though my friend and I remain in disagreement).
Over the two hour course of our dinner, the wine, with consumption and aeration, feels as if it is moving closer to harmony. Though the tannins are firm, I reiterate that they do not dominate the wine (to my mind) and that there is a pleasant mixture of flavors and sensations that yet paired well with my medium rare filet.
I am thrilled to have two more bottles on the way and can say, decidedly, that this wine constitutes a very pleasant drinking experience that would likely pair well even with a lighter meal than the traditional red meat / cabernet pairing.
For those of you on the fence, I found this wine very rewarding and enjoyable, though it is important to note that my palate is not nearly as mature as those of the more experienced Wooters. Given its price, I am regretting not having ordered more and though I am not qualified to throw around any numbers, I can easily give this wine a strong recommendation.
Thank you all, and sorry again for the tardiness of this report!