My above tasting note holds firmly. I do agree that there is one major difference between the 2008 and earlier releases of the Red C, that being that the 2008 wine was the first to have somewhat deeper earthy and garrigue notes. Although this does not impact on the quality of the wine it does impact on its personality.
Following, to make comparison easier, are my tasting notes for the 2005-2008 vintages of the Red C.
Covenant, Red C, Napa Valley, 2008: Dark garnet toward royal purple in color, medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and gentle wood influences. On the nose and palate blackcurrants, blackberries and black cherries, those matched nicely by notes of bittersweet chocolate, garrigue and roasted herbs. Drink now–2016. Score90.
Covenant, Red C, Napa Valley, 2007: Riper and more fruit-forward than the Covenant. Garnet to royal purple, medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins integrating nicely to highlight blackberry and black cherry fruits, those on a tantalizing spicy background. Soft and round but with plenty to grab the attention. Drink now–2013. Score 90.
Covenant, Red C, Napa Valley, 2006: Call this the second wine of Covenant if you will but a wine that stands comfortably on its own and, as a second wine should do, offers an early preview of what is to come in the future. Garnet toward royal purple, medium- to full-bodied, a Cabernet Sauvignon blend showing silky tannins and gentle spicy wood influences. Opens to reveal currants and red and black berries on a background of mocha and an intriguing note of stony minerals that comes in on the long finish. Drink now–2013. Score 90.
Covenant, Red C, Napa Valley, 2005: Dark ruby toward garnet, medium- to full-bodied, with soft, gently mouth-coating tannins and a light hand with the oak in which it was developed. Opens to show traditional Cabernet Sauvignon aromas and flavors of blackcurrants and blackberries, those coming together nicely with hints of orange peel and Mediterranean herbs. I am well aware that sunshine has neither aroma nor flavor, but, so help me, this one tastes of sunshine. Drink now. Score 89.