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A catch-weight boxer with velvet gloves.
There are several firsts for the Caliber in 2017, as the ONX Estate had its inaugural vintage from “Phase 2” of the property. Within this new phase of plantings on the property is clone 338 Cabernet Sauvignon vines, which proved to be an exciting new base material for the blend, and Petit Verdot grapes that provide a stern and literal support structure to the Cuvee. Both came together to further drive complexity and bring us ever closer to a wine reminiscent of the Left Bank. On the nose, haute aromatics of saline blueberry and reduced cranberry exude sweetness while an underlying tone of slate and stone paint the fruit in more pastel colors. Earthy notes of clove, herb de Provence, and black pepper ground the aromatics while confectionary notes of cinnamon and candied walnuts provide height. Flavors of saccharine anise and tart raspberry arrive first on the palate followed by rich boysenberry pie with a buttery and flakey crust. Lean and smelt, the structure of the wine is silky smooth and linear with an extra punch of tannin on the mid-palate that carries a tone of scorched cedar, tobacco, and plum compote through a well-defined and layered finish of winter baking spices.