GOLD MEDAL WINNER 90 points - 2013 Affairs of the Vine Cabernet Shootout
The 2009 Assassin retained the characteristics of the 2008 vintage, striking the perfect balance between the rich fruit and signature tannins of the Howell Mountain juice. Spicy red fruit on the nose with hints of eucalyptus and cedarwood. Blueberry, black cherry, dark chocolate and vanilla notes intertwine on the mid-palate. Hints of leather and tobacco are revealed in the long finish, enhanced by velvety tannins. Drink now through 2020.
Many central coast growers produce ultra ripe, high sugar fruit allowing their winemakers to take the “fruit bomb” approach to their Zins. We used a somewhat more nuanced approach to Skull & Bones, in order to showcase the subtle characteristics of our Westside fruit. The result is a restrained, elegant wine that exhibits both complexity and balance. While many Paso Robles zinfandels boast alcohol levels approaching 17%, Skull and Bones clocks in at just 14.5%. An excellent example of why sometimes, less is more.
Smoke & Mirrors is a medium bodied Pinot Noir, very much in the Santa Barbara County style. A single vineyard bottling, the fruit was harvested from three separate blocks in the La Encantada vineyard, each planted to a different Pinot clone. The result is a multi-layered wine that will continue to improve with age.
The nose is loaded with ripe strawberry, dark cherries and spice. Lush and lively across the palate, with soft integrated tannins and elegant layers of red fruit, nuanced by earthy tones that sail to the clean, finessed finish. Drink now-‐2016.
90 POINTS - Affairs of the Vine 2011 Cabernet Shootout.
The Assassin is a classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark and brooding in character, bold and complex from the nose to the finish. Perfect with beef or lamb dishes and stronger cheeses. The wine has a rich intensity and tremendous focus. On the nose, generous spicy blackberry frames nuances of cocoa, violet, mineral and vanilla. A brilliant burst of acidity on entry falls into a silky mid-palate and finishes long, with supple tannins and juicy brambleberry. This wine exudes lots of depth and stays true to the real spirit of Napa cabernet. It is already showing very well and will continue to age gracefully 10-‐12+ yrs.
The Assassin scored 90 points in the Affairs Of The Vine 2011 Cabernet Competition.