The super youthful 2017 Nota Bene is about to be released. The blend is cabernet sauvignon dominant at 45 percent, mixed with 41 percent merlot and 14 percent cabernet franc. As rich as the wine is, there are red fruit characters on the nose and palate painted with a savoury south Okanagan sagebrush and spice. The attack is similar with more resiny, red and black fruit that are tight and linear before the oak takes over the back end. The tannins are well-managed despite their youth, and present with an elegance we have come to expect from Black Hills over the past few years. There is no rush to drink this wine, which brings us to the question of why it is on such an early release path. At some point, this wine should be given more time to rest and gather itself in the bottle at the winery, and consumers and the accountants are just going to have to wait. It’s only fair to the wine and its fans. Buy and hold for a decade is my recommendation today.
Score: 90 points -- Anthony Gismondi, June 2019
Unmistakably Nota Bene on the nose, the 19th edition of our flagship wine shows cassis, dark berry and cherry aromas, alongside notes of cedar and dark chocolate. Fresh berry fruit and French oak flavours shape the palate, with additional complexity coming from hints of mint and sage. Silky and elegant tannins and a creamy texture result in a wine that is approachable in its youth, while its impressive richness and concentration will allow evolution and further complexity over the next 12-15 years. Ample fresh acidity frames a long fruit driven finish.