I've always been a big fan of Rick Small's Woodward Canyon wines. Collected the magnums of the excellent cabernet until I decided to quit collecting. (Not enough room in my urban digs.) So, will uncork an old one on special occasions. And I'm never disappointed. INTENSE, long lingering finish, just beautifully made wine from rip-roaring delicious fruit.
When I was in Walla-squared last spring, I toured Small's estate vineyards, which had changed a whole bunch since I picked chardonnay grape back in 1989. Small is trying to put some good things back in the soil, not going strictly organic, but working on good environmental stewardship. It was thrilling to see how the land responds.
I was thinking of that gorgeous terrior while sipping a beautiful 2003 Artist's Series cab, a bottle my sis brought to dinner the other night. It was so well-balanced, so incredibly smooth and complex it made me want to start collecting again.