The 1986 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley came across as a Spanish wine when it was poured. The color was medium dark garnet with considerable amber, orange, and rust at the edge. As the wine sat in the glass, the oak became better integrated, and an herbal, smoky, spicy, fruitcake-scented nose began to emerge. Tasters were equally split on whether they loved or hated it, with one taster correctly identifying it. However, within 10 minutes, the general consensus (I concurred) was that this was an intriguing, sweet, cedary, smoky, herbaceous, but expansive, exotic, chewy wine for drinking over the next several years. The tasting notes for this section are from two single blind tastings, one conducted in May, 1996, in California, and the other in June, 1996, in Baltimore.
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