89pointsChateau Ste. Michelle 2004 Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))

Here at last are the flavors that have been missing from Ste. Michelle Cabs for some time. This is crisply structured, varietally spot-on Cabernet. The ripe—but not jammy—fruit flavors of blackberry and black plum are amplified with spicy cinnamon from aging in American oak. There is a hint of chalkiness in the way the acids hit the palate, but otherwise this is picture-perfect, with well-delineated tannins and some delicious Asian spices on the finish. Paul Gregutt

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