94pts Jeb Dunnuck
Easily the standout in the lineup, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake is all Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate on Spring Mountain. It has a wonderful bouquet of crème de cassis, spring flowers, lead pencil, and damp earth. This gives way to a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that has a terrific sense of purity, nicely integrated acidity, fine tannins, and beautiful balance. It will benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age (it's far from unapproachable today) and keep for 15-20 years.
The 2017 Rattlesnake is opaque purple at the core with a dark purple rim. At this very young stage the nose is expressing pure cassis concentrate, black plum, ground cocoa nib and anise. Numerous spices start to emerge from the glass; clove, pepper and bright cinnamon. Every return to the glass brings a new round of descriptors. Round upon entrance, the wine is very quick to the big chalky tannins at this stage. Coffee grounds, cooking chocolate and dark volcanic minerality dominate the palate. The tannins are certainly young and firm, chalky but very present, while mountain acidity comes in for balance. This is one of the biggest Rattlesnake Cabernets we have ever made, where at 18-19 years it will start to show a beautiful bottle bouquet and still have some youthful fruit.