I’ll preface this by saying that I think this is a fabulous Cabernet and one of the better cabs I’ve had in the last couple years along with the 2009 tor cimarossa and 2002 Neal Howell mountain.
That said, I think perhaps I was a little let down by the rave reviews I’ve seen lately.
Now, the nitty gritty. Tasted upon opening but real notes were after about 2 hours of being open and in the glass.
Dark purple in the glass, nice bouquet of blackberries and a hint of leather.
Palate is extremely smooth with fine tannins and quite approachable. The fruit is very pure and focused. There’s nice acidity and balance. The finish is long. Anton’s note is accurate in terms of it definitely smelling like Cabernet. It’s a very good, even great Cabernet.
That said, at least at this very young age, I’m not getting either the power or concentration that I’m looking for, that I’d get from, for example, a myriad G3, nor any sort of x-factor. Also, I’m not seeing much complexity.
This is without a doubt a very well made wine and I think the AFWE among us would really like it, at least to the degree they’d enjoy a Napa cab. I have another glass and a half or so that I’ll revisit tomorrow to see if I will revise my assessment.
Thx for the additional data point! Although I’ve only had the 2014 W+M, on a 1-10 scale of “big” for Napa, I’d give W+M maybe a 6-7? That said, if Corison (for one) is what most people consider to be AFWE from Napa, W+M definitely isn’t that imo; either way, can’t wait to try the 2016.
Yeah I mean I can see why people would love this wine. For me, it’s excellent, just doesn’t blow me away. That’s not saying it’s not fantastic. It paired nicely with the holy grail American wagyu ribeye and strip we grilled up tonight. I like it more with food than without. I’m very glad I have a lot more in the cellar, though,
I like my cabs with a little more fruit and punch; it’s interesting bc I favor lighter bodied burgs. Weird things, palates.
Recently had both the 16 Prop Red and 16 Cab with Will this past weekend when we were up in Napa.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember when he opened them before we showed up (I want to say he said bout 30 mins to 1 hr before??), but we were with him for a couple of hours and it wasn’t until after 90 minutes or so that the Cab finally started opening up. Heavy berry notes early on. It was very restrained and tightly wound at first. The fruit was there but was a little overpowering initially. Once it hit that 90 minute mark and warmed up a little, it balanced out quite a bit and the tannins started to even out, even for a wine this young. This became a pretty enjoyable drink and would love to see how it is at the 5 year and 10 year marks. Tried it again a few hours later before dinner that night and again the next day. Really enjoyed it around the 6-7 hr mark and it still had a lot of life in it around 4pm the next day and was a lot smoother at that point with the bouquet (as expected) pretty much gone.
The Prop red being as fruit forward as it was, it was also pretty well balanced. Picked up on the Cab Franc way more than the Merlot. This is an enjoyable drink young, but should be fun in a few years as well.
I kept wanting to go back to the Cab more often than the Prop Red because I enjoyed the development of the Cab as it started to warm up and open up a bit. The Prop Red didn’t change much for me that day, but it was noticeably different the next day with a lot of the initial fruit more muted. I could see the Prop Red being something I’d open up for friends that are just starting to get into wine but would keep the Cab for myself.
It seems like the wine has gained a bit of weight on the palate. Still silky smooth with pure fruit. I like it quite a bit more on day 2, suggesting that a bit of age may benefit this wine quite a bit.
I didn’t take any formal notes, but I opened one of these on Saturday with my wife. No decanting. I wasn’t expecting the wine to be as accessible and open as it was. It was delicious, that’s for sure. Frankly, though, I expected a little more structure and/or tannin for a 2016. I’m glad I have more, but nobody should feel bad about opening one now. The glass on day two hadn’t really budged and was still delicious, so I suppose that is at least a hint that it’s got the stuffing and structure to age well.
When tasted at FallTacular, I liked the Proprietary Red more, but this definitely didn’t suck either and there were plenty of people who preferred the Cab:
“2016 William & Mary Shifflett Cab
Tucked in tighter-dark red and black fruit with a touch of black tea. Also of the same cut—plum and some prune, but with a needed trace of sweetness. Links with a cassis finish. Good and a complete picture”