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cask14 years after vintage date, this bouquet is glorious–fig, dried cherry, mocha and tobacco nicely highlighted by dusty top notes and a hint of caramel. Resonant, inviting and complex.

Alas, it is a false promise, the palate two or three years past its peak. The opening fruit is dried out without much depth and no layers. The back of the midpalate becomes more generous with a hint of herbaceousness before the leather and cedar kicks in. But we love Cabernet Sauvignon for its bass notes which have unfortunately forsaken us, leaving behind a stony, angular bath rescued only  by a persistent, sinuous toasty note that carries through the finish where the tannins are more talcum-like than textured.

There is an easy gracefulness as it evolves in the mouth, but it’s aloof with a firm countenance of severity behind the poised, refined surface, its spirit wavering dim.

Beck’s wistful, melancholic Lost Cause with its sinuous background electronica proved to be a solicitous companion.

Notes: This Coppola-produced wine from his Inglenook estate is called “cask” because the wine is aged for 19 months in 500 liter American puncheons rather then barrique, a reference to the renowned mid-20th Century Inglenook wines made by John Daniel. It’s from a vintage on the cool side especially late in the season, allowing for long hang times without excessive brix. Coppola brought back the Inglenook name in 2011.

Score: 90

Price: Recent vintages average $78.

Alc: 14.7%

Storage conditions: Very good

Opened: 3/8/2020