Brilliant garnet, tiny sediment, with staining, garnet edges. A stunning nose of sweet maraschino cherry, bright brier, mint, fat, salty saddle, red vines, cassis and oak. A little high on fat and sumptuous and a little lacking in pure Cabernet verve but a baseline of minerality your nose finds with a little searching.
I am not going to give this the ridiculously high marks I gave the 2010–there is a considerable lack of depth and complexity and perhaps age and provenance have affected its nearly 15-0 staying power. This goes back to my continuous HI-ALCOHOL WINES DO NOT AGE rant and you can definitely smell and taste issues in this one at 5 years of age a wine with 1 or 2 points less would not have.
In the mouth, more of the concentration and extraction felt in the bouquet–blistering dark fruit, incredible complexity of nuance, shocking acid and an ample tannin content heading into bitter-territory. The 2010 is still my WOTY and headed into October I am not backing down much from that proclamation on this one but it is definitely thinner in the middle and less overwhelming and lacking a tiny bit of the pure magic of the 2010. Alcohol also rears its head on the 2009 far more than the 2010. Caldera Cuvee is the best meritage in Paso Robles. Possibly the best Cab, PERIOD. Yes, I said it and them’s fightin words–I know–but one sniff and you will agree. This stuff is hard to find and 75$/pop but get some and see for yourself.
2009 CALDERA CUVEE Meritage CS/ME/CF 48/36/16 Paso Robles 14.9