Selections for November 2017

A Great Exception

2012 CARTE BLANCHE CABERNET SAUVIGNON – Napa Valley

This doesn’t happen, but it just did.

“2012 with this color and heft?”

Yes, it’s the first of the three great Napa vintages, but ordinarily the 2012 Napa Cabernets are/were very 1997-like; redolent of nearly-overripe black fruit yet lacking the spine of ageworthy-ness.  Remember how quickly most of your precious ‘97’s crashed?  Drink your 2012’s now or soon or regret your neglect later!   This is the maxim GENERALLY applied, and there are always exceptions.  Behold, one of those.  Perhaps this doesn’t have another ten years to go, but Carte Blanche Cabernet is more built for aging than nearly any other ’12 we’ve tasted.  Drink it now or hold for up to seven years, I’d say.

“. . . At this price?”

Everyone’s on a schedule:  This club comes in handy for some producers needing to move on to their next vintage release.  “Can you guys buy the rest of this beauty?  We’ll give you a great discount as long as you maintain price integrity!”  When the juice tastes right we wholeheartedly agree and comply with their terms - per our interpretation.  What these folks are most paranoid about is seeing their precious brand destroyed with cutthroat discount pricing on the Internet.  More privately offering YOU a wine meant to cost over $100, overseen by none other than Rockstar winemaker Luc Morlet, for a much lower rate makes everyone happy, per our interpretation. 

This is the first of two terrific ‘Carte Blanche’ reds you’ll be seeing.  Indulge now, and over the next seven or so years! 

 

Washington State calms down

2013 WOODWARD CANYON ‘Artist Series #22’ CABERNET SAUVIGNON – Columbia Valley, Washington St

This Cabernet reflects a more mature Washington State perspective, right down to the crusty black sediment you’ll find on your cork.  This region which is currently busting out with terrific young winemakers and innovative projects isn’t actually all that old, but within the context there is definitely an “Old Guard” which includes Woodward Canyon.

Their Artist Series Cabernet is always a perfectly-crafted treat for admirers of balance and classicism, traits not always found in more “modern” Washington State efforts.  We consider ourselves very lucky to bring you the 2013 to which Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate awarded 94 points.  This wine has been officially sold out for some months now but the producer kept back a few cases so we could “club” it when we were ready. 

I believe you can and should enjoy this wine soon.  It features the intense darkness for which the region is famous yet the feel and flavors are melting down to a very drinkable state.  I can imagine a big holiday roast going along . . .

“The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Artist Series is straight up terrific, with tons of black currants, plums and spice to go with background smoked herbs and toasted bread nuances. Incorporating 11% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, aged 20 months in 50% new French oak, this full-bodied, rich, layered beauty has a great mid-palate, a silky texture and ripe tannin, all suggesting it will have a graceful evolution. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 10-15. “

-That’s from The Wine Advocate!