Chateau Ste. Michelle 2005 Ethos Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley (WA))

From a great vintage, this top-line Ste. Michelle Cab includes just 8% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot in the blend. The goal is obviously deep, dark, dense and rich flavors, and the arrow hits the mark. Though not as hugely ripe and saturated as cult Cabs costing three to five times as much, this is balanced, detailed and loaded with black fruits, spice, smoke and tar. It's got some chalky acids, which need a bit more time to soften up, but shows the structure to be cellared for a decade or more. Paul Gregutt

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