Friday, December 17, 2010

Phoenix Wine Mafia Part II - Cabernet Sauvignon Flight

Its a good thing I always carry my wine journal with me... now if I could only learn how to actually "speak wine" we'd be okay.  Oh well!  Anyways I'm going to try to quickly knock out this post so I can get on to reposting an old hangover post from my myspace days...

Since this is a continuation of the last one, I'll not get into lengthy introductions, although I may have a small summation at the end. They were all Napa Cabs from $13-$35. On with the tasting notes:

Cab #1: 2008 Alterra - $13
Just a hint of spice, more so than the Angeline Cab, but not a lot. Very fruit forward, almost Merlot-like.  Not as good as the Angeline Cab.  No one's favorite.  For the price, there are much better wines.  One person's tasting notes said simply: "No".  Not a lot of info on line + no one liked it = not a lot of notes here.  NEXT!

Cab #2: 2006 Edgewood Estate - $14
Most easily put, someone said it was more "Cab-y" than the last wine.  I'd have to agree.  Medium body, good fruit, not too much like the Alterra.  Online tasting notes mention berries (I'd agree) and vanilla (I didn't get that).  Also recommended decanting for an hour (we opened all of the wines a couple of hours before the tastings,  but didn't "decant".  They were all left in the bottle, so the surface area exposed to air was relatively small) Good wine, but for a couple of bucks less, I'd still go with the Angelina.

Cab #3:  2007 Rudy - $25
Now we're talking!  I got flavors of tobacco and black pepper - two of my favorites in Cabs.  Was ridiculously smooth.  Well worth the $25.  If you're willing to spend it, I'd highly suggest picking up a bottle or two. Online notes: cassis, red berries, cherry, good tannins, well-ballanced. (I agree with all of it). Online quote: "There's certainly a whole lot of wine that I like less for a whole lot more money" Side note: It seems to be made by Von Strasser, but does not appear on  May be a second label? Surprising little info on this online.

Cab #4:  2005 Napa Wine Co - $35
I think I was approaching intoxication at this point (don't worry, I blew right by intoxication later in the night and ended up somewhere around nicely effing drunk).  I had gone golfing earlier in the day, hadn't eaten much and didn't have near enough water.  That being said, this wine was goooooooooood. Unfortunately I didn't think to write down actual tastes in my tasting notes.  What I do have: So smooth, so good.  This was the hit of the night (up to this point at least).  It was good and heavy, possibly too much for some of the newer wine lovers of the group.  I did note that it was worth much more than the $35 we paid for it and that it made the Rudy look like a $10 wine (Rudy was still good, don't get me wrong). Tasting notes from their website: The Napa Wine Company 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon epitomizes the classic style of Napa Valley wines. This is a lush Cabernet with intense aromas of black raspberry, hazelnut and cinnamon bark. In the mouth, the flavors are rich and fruit focused. Ripe currant and blackberry integrate nicely with the toasted oak flavors. The wine has a silky texture that finishes with a long persistent aftertaste. (more info here).  I'm not sure I got hazelnut or cinnamon bark on the nose, but other than that I'd agree with the notes 100%. Their website says they're sold out of this one.  I may be running back to Total Wine to stock up.

Surprise Cab #1, or Cab #5 on the list (James had the same numbering problem...): 2003 Goosecross Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon - $60-$80 ('05 Vintage selling for $75, '03 may have originally sold for around $60-$65):
I was good and drunk by this point.  This is one of my favorite wines, and for me to pull out one of my oldest vintages and share it with everyone either means I was very drunk or feeling very very generous (it wasn't even Christmas!) Heck, my tasting notes even included a call out on my cousin because he said that the Baylor women's basketball team would beat UConn in the NCAA Women's tournament this year.  I mean #1 Its women's basketball - who cares! and #2 UConn? Really? They have like a 78 game winning streak going and are defending back to back national champions!!! Oh yeah the wine... Great tasting notes here.  My notes from that night: "Struggling for words, it's just that good. Makes all of the other wines seem cheap and little." This wine is definitely one of the "huge" Napa Cabs everyone knows and loves.  Not everyone at the table loved it, it could definitely be overpowering for newbies. Someone described it as "not as 'bright' as the others".  A very expensive wine, but IMO worth every penny.

Some final notes:
It was a blast.  I can't wait to do it again.  Yes, I ended up getting sick and passing out in the bathroom, but holy crap it was fun.  I really didn't drink all that much in relation to a normal Saturday night, but I definitely didn't prepare well.

I was hoping to do a sparkling wine/champagne tasting on NYE but I couldn't get enough interest.  It looks like we'll be meeting again early-mid Jan for a "Cabs Around the World" tasting.  I'm going to ask everyone to bring a $15-$25 bottle and I'll assign regions.  Should be a lot of fun.

The winners of the night were the Angeline Cab ($12), the Rudy Cab ($25), and the Napa Wine Co. Cab ($35).  All tasted well above their price range and not only would I recommend each of them, I'll probably buy each of them again.

Until next time!


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