Clos du Bois is one of the biggest, most well known wineries in California. The variety of wines they make in a number of categories, truly runs the gamut. Amongst those offerings are a number of smaller and mid size production wines that highlight grapes or areas. The Cabernet Sauvignon I'm looking at from them today, is such a wine. The 2004 Clos du Bois Briarcrest Cabernet Sauvignon is made from fruit sourced at a handful of Alexander Valley vineyards. This offering is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This Cabernet was aged in all French oak for 24 months; 86% of the barrels were new. 4,150 cases of the 2004 Briarcrest were produced and the suggested retail price is $42.
Wild blueberries, lavender, toasty oak, and plum reference points lead the nose of this Cabernet Sauvignon. Throughout the palate both red and black berry fruits are part of a rich, persistent core which is full flavored but never over the top. Smoke and earth, both indicative of its Alexander Valley heritage also emerge and continue through the finish. Additionally, chicory, dusty baker's chocolate, black tea, and light mineral notes lead the charge in a lengthy, lingering finish that coats the tongue and back of the throat, staying and staying. This wine is framed by firm tannins which cede with air; a fine acidity keeps everything in check.
What I liked best about this wine is that it's simultaneously bold and gentle. The flavors are big, but they never overwhelm. This wine is drinking quite well now but will undoubtedly improve for a handful of years and drink well for several more after that. A fine effort by Clos du Bois, that shows off Alexander valley's proclivity towards excellent Cabernet Sauvignon.