92 Points - Wine Enthusiast, June 2014
The grapes come from the winery's estate vineyards on Howell Mountain, and you can sense the mountain intensity, both of tannins and fruity concentration. The flavors are impressive, suggesting black currant and mocha, with a minerality that grounds the wine. The tannins will help the wine evolve until 2020-2022, but you can drink it now.
The Burgess Cellars' hillside vineyards are on the steep slopes of Howell Mountain. The various exposures result in grapes that complement one another and build a complex and delicious wine. Soils range from volcanic ash to rocky marine sediments, this, combined with mature vines and skilled wine making give us a complex and elegant wine. The wine shows off dense Cabernet Sauvignon character accented with vanilla, balancing spices and toasty oak from traditional barrel aging in 20% new French oak for 22 months.
The early season was cool, with unexpected heat spikes in late summer. Early September again was cool, but the heat returned in the fall, giving us a late harvest of lower yields but excellent quality grapes.
The 2010 growing season experienced earlier bud break than 2009, but flowering and veraison occurred up to two weeks later than normal. A prolonged frost season lasted until the end of May, though there was no frost damage in our mountain vineyard. The relatively cool growing season coupled with two unexpected heat spikes, on in late August and the other at the end of September helped to propel ripening. Cooler than average temperatures returned in early September, but gave way to a welcome warm and consistent Indian Summer. These factors contributed to grapes on concentrated flavors which resulted in wines which are elegant, structured and truly balanced.