Selections for December 2017

Déjà vu?

2013 CARTE BLANCHE PROPRIETARY RED - Napa Valley

This doesn’t happen, but it just did.   AGAIN.

You’re not seeing double.  This is not the Cabernet from Carte Blanche we supplied last month.  This is not a 2012.  These are not the droids you’re looking for.  This majestic red blend comes from the same winery and from the even better vintage of 2013.  Once again, it is a product the Carte Blanche folks themselves sell for well over $100.  Once again, we are asked to not publicize our lower rate.  Once again, you’re asking how we can go so much lower than anything you might see on Almighty WineSearcher.com?  Partial answer:  It’s the volume purchase your membership accommodates.  Once again, the participation of each and every one of you – and the evangelism you provide to grow our numbers – add up to better value for YOU.

This is a sumptuous, unapologetically “cult style” blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.  The nose is huge with dark currant and cassis berry fruit, bitter cocoa, dark spice, and a distinct loamy earthy quality; the longer you sniff the more you encounter – and it’s all very enticing.  On the palate the sense of hedonism continues with more opulent berry fruit, plus dark chocolate and a sense of mineral.

Like all great 2013’s – and this is certainly one of the greatest we’ve shown you – this high impact wine deserves the favor of decanting if you’re drinking it soon.  You can more thoughtfully afford it a few years in your cellar!

Gorgeous stuffe by the former winemaker of Harlan Estate . . .

 

Compelling and Durable

2013 TRIONE VINEYARDS AND WINERY ‘Henry’s Blend’ – Geyserville Ranch, Alexander Valley

I have a particular fondness for the Bordeaux-style reds of Sonoma County.  Whether they’re coming from Moon Mountain, Sonoma Valley, or farther north in the Alexander Valley, the reds from here – whether Cabernet Sauvignon or blends of Cab and its peers – some how imply something a little more “European” than their Napa Valley counterparts.

From the magnificent vintage of 2013 comes a prime example of “California meets Bordeaux.”  The place and the producer both had a hand in keeping a leash on this red which, by virtue of the rock star vintage, could have been more over-the-top (not that there’s anything wrong with that)!   Here is 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, plus Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec combining to give the purple fruit sauciness of the vintage PLUS the intrigue of Sonoma (leather, tobacco, and freshly-turned earth).

There’s one more quality to appreciate here:  Acidity.  This wine has a great acidic backbone allowing for long term aging – yet another Bordeaux attribute!