Tasting Note                         

88   2000 Franciscan Cab. Sauv. Napa Valley     4/2/04($25)

Color: Deep purple-garnet, but with a brown hue, indicating quite a bit of oak. Looks like a traditional Rioja.(3.5) Bouquet: Rich blackberry Cab fruit with a slight bitter edge, a combination of oak and an herbal component.(2.5) Body: Powerful fruit, tannin and alcohol. A heavyweight with excellent fruit, but an alcohol/oak austerity.(3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet. A wall of big, rich blackberry, but also bitter and herbal.(2.5) Finish: Here, toasty oak takes over, giving nuances of almond, green oak and butter. Contradictory impressions ranging from deliciously rich to obnoxiously bitter.(2.5)
Overall: Very good, enjoyable, well-made Cab, but too much damn oak. This wine is bigger than a wine like Estancia Meritage(also a wine that is over-oaked), but has even more oak and less elegance. Where have so many Calif.(Napa, in particular) wineries gotten the dumb idea to oak wines to this ridiculous extent? I guess they think it will please the critics who are drinking the wines even before release. To me, it deforms and distorts these fine wines.(14.0)