Following are my latest notes for the wines in question, each of the tastings or re-tastings taking place within the past 4 - 6 months.
Ella Valley Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Vineyard’s Choice, 2003: Blended with 3% of Cabernet Franc and aged in oak for 17 months, this is a deep and brooding wine. Dark royal-purple, full-bodied, with ripe, rich fruits showing harmony and finesse. Layers of currants, juicy cherries and tempting oak shadings. Drink now–2011. Score 91. K
Ella Valley Vineyards, Merlot, Vineyard's Choice,, Merlot, 2003: Its youthful royal-purple color and generous black cherry, berry and spices show this to be an exuberant wine, but as those come together in the glass showing full-body and firm structure, one begins to feel the elegance. Softening nicely now and showing long and round with an appealing spicy oak note that rises on the finish. Drink now–2010. Score 90. K
Ella Valley Vineyards, Pinot Noir, 2005: Ruby towards garnet in color, medium-bodied, with soft, caressing tannins and generous cherry, cassis, strawberry and cranberry aromas and flavors, those backed up nicely by minerals, hints of white pepper and vibrant acidity. Drink now–2012. Score 92. K
Ella Valley Vineyards, Cabernet Franc, 2004: Garnet towards dark royal-purple, medium to full-bodied, perhaps in somewhat of a dumb period now, but continuing to show cherry, red currant and wild berry fruits backed up by hints of vanilla and mint along with notes of lead pencils and cinnamon. Austere tannins rising at this stage of its development along with spicy oak Drink now–2011. Score 90. K
Ella Valley Vineyards, Chardonnay, 2007: Developing partly in barriques, partly in stainless steel, promising to be a medium-bodied, crisply freshly and aromatic wine. Freshly dampened golden-straw in color, showing a gentle hand with the wood, with the nose and palate opening with hints of honey, flaky pastry and minerals, and goes on to show yellow plum and citrus blossoms. Well structured, long and elegant. As the wine develops in bottles look for a gentle honeyed hint that will creep in. Drink now–2011. Score 90. K