Friday, June 12, 2009

***+ $$$$ Snows Lake Two, Red Hills, Lake County, CA - Wine Review and Rating

Review: Snows Lake Two is a blend of Red Hills Lake County varietals - 73% cabernet sauvignon and 28% cabernet franc - grown in the Mayacamas Mountains area, in one of the highest regions of the North Coast. Not as well known for its own bottlings, the grapes of Snows Lake vineyards have been used in such higher-profile labels as Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Cakebread Cellars, Rosenblum Cellars, La Famiglia, Cartlidge & Browne and Dynamite Vineyard.

In the glass, Snows Lake Two shows as deep magenta at the rim, opaque throughout the rest of the glass. Aromas really hurtle from the glass - classic, ripe aromas of deep cabernet fruit - chocolate, touch of black pepper, fully ripe plum, and clear evidence of oak aging.

As you sip, the front palate is most notable, bringing rich, balanced fruit up top, while tannins flush to the sides. The effect is of being cloaked in a sweet, dusty robe. Mountain tannins hold the intense flavors. Then the finish slowly lingers, lingers, lingers, fading to a clean wisp. Layered, balanced, rich - ready to drink. Still, I wouldn't be shy about putting it down for a few years, or decanting for an hour or so.

On an hour's decant, it smoothes further, staying lusty and balanced. Three stars - since I would come back to Snows Lake Two - with a plus for its impeccable balance. With some age, this has a good chance of gravitating to full four-star status.

Find Snows Lake wines here.

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