October 12, 2011

{Wine Wednesday} Some old time California Cabernets

Since I'm not an expert (nor have the budget to acquire) vintage wines, I jumped at the opportunity to taste vintage Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California at Union Square Wines in New York City. The amazing lineup ranged from the young 2007 Mount Eden Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and 2005 Ridge Monte Bello to a few rare treats from Mayacamas and Dunn. Since fruit forward wines are the most prevalent style today (especially Cabernet from California or even France and Washington), it was a great chance to compare the structured wines and often higher acid from various appellations, or 'Old Timey Favorites' as the tasting was titled.

Here's the order of the tasting:
2007 Mount Eden Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2005 Ridge Monte Bello
2004 Laurel Glen Cabernet Sauvignon
2002 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon
2001 Heitz Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
1997 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon
1994 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
1992 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

The standouts for me were the smooth, leathery 1997 Mayacamas and the sublime, yet still powerful, Dunn Howell Mountain wines (the '94 was still young and tannic). The Monte Bello needed more time as the wine was still quite chewy (which, along with the Dunn Cabs, were greatly enhanced by the wagyu beef). To finish up, we compared the 1996 Mount Eden Cabernet to the spectacular 2007 bottling to see how the wine typically evolves. I'd take the elegant '96 now, but it will be interesting to see how the fresh '07 Bordeaux style blend (75% Cabernet) ages.

Most of the younger wines just need more time to mature and likely have some good years ahead. Though some prices are quite steep, these older vintage wines are worth seeking out. Happy hunting (and drinking)!

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love reading your comments! Don't worry if you don't have a Google account or website - just select Name/URL.