Great Wine Tasting Party – Part 2
California Cabs, specifically Napa Cabs…No way, yuck. My palate is way more refined than that. Over oaked, hyper extracted fruit bombs handcrafted as crowd pleasers for the uninitiated masses. Or so I thought.
At the wine tasting I attended over the weekend I found myself gobsmacked by the quality, balance, restraint and purity of fruit of some of the Cabernet Sauvignons I tasted from the State I call home. I can honestly say that I can count on one hand the times I’ve had a Napa Cab in the last 10 years. Needless to say, I wasn’t really looking forward to tasting seven of them all in one evening. I was excited about the party, just not the wine.
In my previous post, A Great Wine Tasting Party – Part 1, I mentioned that you should always approach wine with an open mind. I’m glad I took my own advice because as I tasted through the line up I found some really nice expressions of a wonderful grape – Cabernet Sauvignon. I got, in some cases, the kind of flavor profile that you would expect from a 10 year old Bordeaux.
So here is where I submit my apology to California Cabs for my pigheaded stubbornness and my prejudice. In fairness though, it seems like years ago at the time I started moving away from Napa Cabs, a lot of wine makers were really making oak juice with a hint of wine in it instead of the other way around.
Below I’ve compiled my notes and impressions of the wines we drank that wonderful evening.
As you can see by my notes in the grid above, none of these wines are cheap, but because of the price/quality ratio they can be good values. Taste, balance, aging and appreciation potential as well as price comparison to other wines in their category determines that calculation. I love finding a great bottle of wine under $20, but getting an $80 bottle that you can put down for a milestone birthday or anniversary, graduation or retirement also has its own special value.
What blows me away is that that bottle could be a California Cab!