Grapelive Tasting Report: Dos Lagos Vineyards Fast Forward and Full Throttle

2011DosLagosCab2011 Dos Lagos Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Atlas Peak, Napa Valley.
This small boutique producer has been making some full throttle Cabernet Sauvignon for a few years now, and while I think there is lots to admire and it certainly is better than lots of wines in this price class, it was a bit sad to open this bottle so early young), I think it will be much better with a few years of bottle age. Dos Lagos Vineyards, owned by Thomas and Marcie Dinkel, and made by the very talented Robert Foley of Pride and Hourglass fame, has all the right stuff, great fruit, dramatic vines and quality hands guiding it all, the wines are rich, full bodied and with generous French oak, and they are amazingly dark and polished examples of modern fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon. The tannins are remarkably ripe and smooth, but there is loads of fruit density and intensity, this 2011 is much like the prior releases, I had expected the vintage to be somewhat more restrained though it tastes very much like the 2009 version, thickly lush with lots of chocolate, blueberry, blackberry and sweet creme de cassis, in fact it almost oozes out of the bottle and the purple/black hue makes you think of vintage Port. Everything is very lavish and mouth filling, my only complaint is, it is way too soon to drink, I think a much better wine is hiding behind all this bold fruit, especially considering it does has a bit of acidity, and at 14.5% alcohol it is not excessive, that all said, they are plenty of fans of this style that will love it now. The 2011 Dos Lagos tastes like Tim Mondavi’s Continuum, it may even be a better more complete wine in fact, to give a comparison of equals so to speak, and hopefully gives you a better idea of style found here. This 2011 should find itself in 3 to 5 years time and deliver more elegance and detail, patience required, and while there is potential it may not reach the heights that the 2007 Does Lagos Vineyards is now and was capable of and can. This is a very solid hedonistic effort and a pleasant surprise overall, the Dinkel’s commitment and the vineyard team’s hard work paid off here and especially Bob Foley’s talented signature touch as well. With air and swirling this 2011 shows, smoke, pencil lead, cedar, sweet vanilla and even a few savory elements, but this wine is extremely opulent and weighty, drink from 2017 to 2025.
($125 Est.) 91-94 Points, grapelive