Oriel Midnight Rambler 2002
Rating: 92 pts

If you haven't heard of Oriel or their wines, you soon will as they are developing a remarkably diverse portfolio of wine, encompassing the great vineyard regions of the world. Additionally, Founder John Hunt has managed to attract winemakers with outstanding pedigrees and track records in each area. Some of the wines have production levels of 100 cases or less and will be available only through a mailing list. The Midnight Rambler is named for winemaker Gerry Rowland who walks the vineyards on the night of harvest. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose offers plenty of gooey blackberry extract, with deeply concentrated violets. On the palate, flavors of spicy sandalwood, blackberry, currant and polished oak tannins prevail. This is one of the most remarkable values I have experienced this year in Cabernet Sauvignon.

—Doug Wilder, August 2005