September 1, 2013
Hillebrand 2005 Collectors' Choice Cabernet/Merlot
(Re-Tasted August 2013) ... This wine is from the very good 2005 vintage and should have some longevity in the bottle - and whether it does or does not depends on how you like your wine. At first the wine was all smoky and very dry showing no fruit ... so I put a Vinoair single glass aerator on the bottle and poured myself a glass: suddenly we had fruit on the nose in the form of dried blackberry, dried cherry with oak spice. The palate was dried dark fruit with smoky notes along with cinnamon and clove but still with lots of oak notes. It took about 30 minutes for the oak to take over making the wine harsh and chalky ... I then poured another glass without the aerator and got another 30 minutes of drinking before the oak took over again. So it's going to depend on whether you like those strong oaky notes or not ... or how fast you're willing to drink it - by the hour mark no matter what I did it was mostly chalky with lots of oak spice.