Wine Enthusiast 93 points - (94% cabernet with 4% merlot, 1% cab franc and 1% petit verdot): Full ruby-red. Inviting aromas of spicy red and black fruits, licorice, wild herbs and pepper. Juicy and spicy, showing more density and purity of fruit than the Faust bottling. Spicy dark berry flavors are complicated by black olive, wild herbs and a hint of leather and lifted by an attractive violet element. Finishes with pliant tannins, good mineral lift and lingering perfume. Winemaker Charles Thomas told me that the use of an optical sorter in 2011 allowed the estate to hang its fruit for an extra few days, despite the humid conditions.
The 2011 Quintessa reveals a touch of roasted herbs, medium body, soft tannins and an endearing, charming character. Although it does not possess the size, richness or intensity of the 2010, it is very much in keeping with the 2011 vintage character. Consume it over the next decade.
For the 2011 vintage, Winemaker Charles Thomas blended Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from the wineryâ€™s 280-acre biodynamic and organically farmed estate in the heart of Rutherford. The effect is memorable, the wine pungent in red plum and cherry. Light, layered and elegantly smooth on the palate, it has a backdrop of black pepper and clove. Cellar through 2025.
|Wine maker notes
|Quintessa, like all classic wines of the world, bears the same name as the vineyard from which it is made. Our goal is to produce the best expression of this extraordinary vineyard each year. In broad terms, Quintessa is a red meritage wine. Each year, it is a blend that can include some or all of the five varietals grown on the estate: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. The vineyard's diversity provides us wide stylistic options for the wine. Fruit from each component block of Quintessa is harvested, sorted, then gravity fed into either oak or stainless steel fermentation tanks. Once fermentation and maceration are complete, each block wine is aged separately for up to two years in french oak barrels in our caves. After this aging period the components are brought together and the final Quintessa blend is created. The wine is then bottled and laid down for yet another year before release. Although each vintage is unique, we have discovered that finesse and elegance best express the character of the vineyard and as such, we blend for harmony, balance, and length of flavors. Above all, our objective is to make Quintessa a delicious wine that is complementary to food.