My wine group's latest grand tasting featured a top flight of California Cabernet Sauvignon, but you'll have to whet your appetite with this more modest offering, another blinded "mini-vertical" from my cellar.
On my left was the 2003 St. Clement Oroppas. With spicy dark berries, black pepper and violet...a riper, jammier nose than the '02 below. Very smooth and tasty, but softer and jammier on the palate as well. Enjoyable, just less structured and less complex. Drink now.
On my right was the more interesting 2002 St. Clement Oroppas - peppery, with vegetal notes, damp black earth, vanilla, violets and tobacco. Soft, dense fruit, also a modern-styled effort but retaining a vibrancy - decent acidity and classy tannins holding this all together. A very long finish, this is a youthful cab that should spend a few more years in your cellar.
I have nothing but praise for St. Clement's wines - in a sea of overpriced underachievers, these wines are amongst Napa's best values at all price points. Save your money on those cult California Cabs - Oroppas kicks many of those, just US$55 at the winery door.
PS - a special thanks to Pramod, who put me on to St. Clement in the first place.