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Professional Ratings: 93 Connoisseurs' Guide, 91 International Wine Cellar, 90 Wine Spectator, 90 Wine Enthusiast
Region: Central Coast, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Style: Big & Bold
Alcohol By Volume: 15.1%
Item no. 106801
In every vineyard, there exist select parcels of land that yield exceptional quality. Since arriving at Star Lane, winemaker Nick de Luca has consistently observed this special nature in three vineyard parcels—blocks 24, 25 and 29. Not surprisingly, they are all contiguous and located along the ridgeline at the highest elevations in the vineyard which surpass 1,500 feet at the pinnacle.These parcels form the nucleus of Star Lane's reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Astrale, a Latin-based word that means, "Pertaining to or proceeding from the stars."
The 2005 Star Lane Astrale Cabernet Sauvignon shows immense concentration, with huge, lush tannins that frame tightly layered cassis, blackberry, plum, coffee, chocolate, spice, vanilla and smoke flavors. Sporting a suppleness that belies its youth, the wine is drinking beautifully now. but we suspect it will offer collectors many years of pleasure to come.
A few issues back, Star Lane's basic Cabernet earned glowing praise, and this, its fancier sibling, does the same. Big, optimally ripened and positively plush on the palate, it delivers a wealth of luscious, curranty fruit with the sweet, vanilla-bean trappings of first-rate oak making it all the more enticing. It is so fruity that its late-arriving tannins come as a surprise reminder that it is still very young, and a better wine will yet await the collector who can exercise five years of patience.
Inky ruby. Sexy aromas of cherry pie and dark berry compote, with notes of incense, pipe tobacco and potpourri adding complexity. Pliant, deeply concentrated blackberry and cassis flavors are framed by gentle tannins and pick up exotic fruitcake and cinnamon notes with air. At once rich and energetic, with strong finishing sweetness and an echo of candied flowers.
Ripe, plush plum, spice, currant and mineral flavors are fleshy and intense, with wonderfully velvety tannins and a long, lingering finish. Drink now through 2014.
This might be the most expensive Cab ever from Santa Barbara County. It’s certainly a serious wine, full-bodied and rich, with the finely ground tannins you find in Napa Valley. The flavors aren’t bad either, all about cassis, cherries, chocolate and cedar. Yet there’s an herbaceousness that calls to mind old-style Santa Ynez Cabs. Seems best now and for a few years.