It’s not often that one gets a 20+ year old bottle of wine pulled out of a farmhouse and opened for an evening drink, but that is exactly what happened here. I was privy to the rest of the bottle that my friend Annie carefully decanted, in hopes of making magic happen. Whilst this one may be over the hill it certainly offers much for enjoyment. Very dark and opaque with a touch of bricking- it is showing its age yet still has something to offer. The nose is full of prunes, mushrooms, leather, game and forest floor. There are no primary fruit flavors left and the tannins are fully melded, the wine was being held together by the last vestiges of acidity that allowed it to over-perform its drink-by window. With no provenance indication, it is hard to tell when this bottle entered its mature stage but I was surprised that the tertiary flavors were so palatable. I have had many a wine that was over-the-hill and needed to meet the drain asap, this one was not the case. We drank the whole bottle, enjoying what nuances we could get from it and marveling at the fact that it runs $60 per bottle for current vintages yet performs like a far more pricy Napa Cabernet (No pricing exists for this vintage). It is unfair to score this grand dame, suffice to say- she has outdone herself and shined in the development arena and deserves kudos for lasting this long. Share your hidden gem stories! Salut….
Opaque and dark purple. The nose has a big dose of funk right off the bat- standing water comes to mind. Once past that shocker I get Napa sunshine with ripe blackberry, toasty oak and Ribena. The palate is blueberry and blackberry tart with coconut and creme. The oak influence is appreciated. Mid palate has very lithe tannins and mild acidity. Leather and tobacco appear on the finish with cassis. Really delicious as the wine progressed . 91 points and at $50 per bottle it gets 4 stars. Paired with Spinach rolled Flank Steak and Ceaser salad. Drink till 2023. Salut….
Dinner is Lamb Shanks with black eyed peas and Rattatouile. I needed a stout, dry wine so I turned to this young Cab Sav. It’s dark purple, and totally opaque. The nose gives me ripe blackberry, rich plum compote and I can smell the 14.8% heat. On the palate the taste echoes the nose- rich purple fruit flavors intertwining with beautiful tannins and a touch of acidity. The fruit is very rich with Cali sunshine evident. I get a hint of Iodine on the mid palate alongside the layered plums, blackcurrant and berries. The acidity kicks it up a notch on the finish and the dryness on my gums remains for a long period. The flavors linger for nearly 15 seconds. Delicious stuff that gives off some Oak influence right at the end. 92 points for this $90 monster makes it a 5 star effort. Drink till 2029. Pricy but yummy! Salut….
I love my neighbors Arty and Keef…. you see, they have a nice collection of Napa Cabs in their cellar and I get the chance to taste alongside quite often. When this text arrived, I made sure to head over tout suite.
Wow- black beauty. Opaque AF and showing long legs in the glass. The nose is magnificent. A dusty take on blackberry jam, cassis, toasty oak and a hint of eucalyptus. On the palate this wine is super focused with very defined blueberries, blackberries alongside some Lapsang Souchong tea notes. Very integrated tannins and really lithe acidity help bring out the California sunshine in this wine- it’s definitely fruit forward and open for business. Delicious- 93 points and 5 stars for this $100 stunner. Drink till 2025 with Filet or other less fatty meals. Salut….
This Cab Sav is dark purple and fully opaque in the glass. On the nose I get some plum, blueberry and black currant. It’s a touch subdued but I am able to coax it along. The palate is very fruity with steeped black berry, rich blackcurrants and iodine. The tannins are fine grained and work themselves up to a pretty dry midpalate. The fruit holds on and I also get some eucalyptus and lapsang souchong tea. The finish is quite dry with the tannins really kicking it into high gear. Gentle acidity makes for a nice mouthfeel. At the very end I get elderberry to carry the decent length finish. Very delicious wine with judicious use of oak, but the nose is quite perturbing. Maybe it likes a smaller glass (I’m using a BAG btw). Tonight’s pairing is Tenderloin and all the British Sunday roast accoutrements, it’s gonna rock. 91 points from me for this $58 effort that gets 4 stars. Drink till 2028. Salut….
Dark purple in the glass with nice legs belaying the 14.7% alcohol. On the nose it bursts with notes of blackberry, caramel (yes, caramel) and cola. On the palate it is quite refreshing, lighter than expected but still chock full of flavor- typical Napa Cab. Blackberry pie meets Dr. Pepper and a stave of oak. The mid palate is really lush with layers of fruit, ripe tannins, charcoal and tar. The tannins creep up and are balanced nicely on the finish with a touch of acidity. The black fruit theme continues as does the cola note. Very nice and balanced- this wine drinks nicely now and will go till 2023. 90 points from me, 91 from the pros. It retails for $80, making it a 4 star wine for me. I would pair with Filet, perhaps a well seasoned Cornish hen or even braised Beef rib. Salut….
Super purple in the glass, inky and opaque AF. On the nose I get black currants, smoky oak, vanilla and a touch of cassis. On the palate it’s fresh, young and layered. Black fruits galore with a hint of licorice. The fruit is sweet yet the wine is dry- like ripe and sun drenched. The tannins creep in very slowly and I start to pucker at the mid palate and am fully aware of their presence by the finish. They are really well integrated and fine grained. Gobs more black fruit, a hint of eucalyptus and some oak round this wine out. The finish is long and dry. Delightfully rich, decadent even- this wine has a really nice mouthfeel and is brimming with Napa charm. 92 points from me and at $140 it’s a 4 star gem. Drink till 2030 with grilled meat, rich cheeses. A super yummy wine. Salut….
This Napa Cab pours a rich deep purple in the glass and is totally opaque. On the nose it’s all Cali sunshine- rich blackberry, plum jam, figs and vanilla. On the plate it lives up to its billing. Rich fruits, cassis, ripe tannins and a touch of acidity. The mouthfeel on this one is stupendous. I am enjoying swirling the wine but it gets really good on the mid palate where espresso adds another angle as does plum jam. The finish is somewhat drier yet still reserves the spotlight for the primal fruits. It has good structure, if not somewhat muted by the fruit forward style of this gem. It will age well and hopefully develop some tertiary flavors. This could be a monster folks. 94 points from me. It’s pricy at a list of $135, but I found it elsewhere for less. I’m pairing this 5 star wine with Char-grilled Ribeyes. Drink till 2030. Salut….
I tasted this wine previously and liked it enough to order some for the virtual tasting #5. I think I preferred it the first time around, this bottle seemed a little tired and over the plateau. The wine showed secondary flavors of tobacco, leather, horse whip but lacked much core fruit and tannic structure. Overall it scored 88 points from me with a drink now recommendation. $24 is not over the top, but I would not order more. We decanted 6 hours prior, that may have made the difference. 3 stars. Salut….
This wine was over-hyped by a retailer that I use so I had to jump in on a case. Glad I did…
Bright purple- semi opaque. The nose is sublime…. purple plums, blackberry, a hint of oak. On the palate it’s very fruity and a touch tannic. Full on with blackberry reduction, plums and tobacco. The tannic bite is very gentle and balanced. The mid palate is a touch more dry, but very manageable. Oolong tea and spices mingle with the plums and blackberry, delicious. The finish is fab. This wine screams Napa sunshine, it lacks the telltale eucalyptus but shines in the plums and black berries. The tannic structure is impressive- starting out gentle, ending up in a crescendo of tea and charred oak notes. 92 points and 4 stars- $60. Drink till 2027. Salut….