Napa & Sonoma: 12 Cabernets from 2005
Bennett Lane 2005 Maximus
It's a bold move to name your cabernet blend Maximus and then give it the nickname "Feasting Wine;" shades of banquets and revelry! The Bennett Lane Maximus "Red Feasting Wine" 2005, Napa Valley, however, is densely structured enough that I would hesitate to open a bottle for tonight's banquet; feasting in 2010 through 2015 or ‘16 would be more like it. The blend is 64 percent cabernet sauvignon and 25 percent merlot, and you would be forgiven for thinking that we're on our way to something modeled on St. Estephe or St. Julien, except that the other 11 percent is syrah, a grape that the Bordelaise don't even dream about. Maximus ‘05 opens with distinct aromas of cedar, tobacco and walnut shell that unfold around elements of intense and concentrated black currant, black cherry and plum. The flavors are similar, but deep, rich and spicy, quite earthy and minerally. The texture is dense and chewy with slightly gritty tannins that help make this a solid and substantial wine rather than a supple or vibrant one. Very Good+ with a nod toward Excellent potential in three or four years. About $35.
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