Sunday, January 04, 2009

"Holiday Wines"

This Christmas season was a remarkable time with friends and family and is still going as we will not formally celebrate with my parents until next Sunday to weather and other timing issues. However, so far it been a spectacular time for great wine! The wines we had in 2008 for Christmas were surprising, impressive, and superb! They ranged in age from 6 years to 17 years old.

2001 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Artemis" Cabernet Sauvignon

This was one of the last few bottles of this wine that I have left and right now it is singing! I may finish them off by the end of this year based on how good this wine was. I have to say that it was probably hitting its peak! My notes:

Another classic styled Napa Cabernet - I thoroughly enjoyed this as an alternative to the big ripe jammy Cabernet style that has been in vogue that last few years.

Color: Dark red center with ruby red edges

Nose: Classic cassis, bing cherry and sage aromas

Palate: More of the cassis and cherry, herbal sage and earthy tannins! Silky smooth finish!

1992 Joseph Phelps "Insignia"

Drawn from John's collection in the cellar, this wine was in fine shape. Dark, fragrant, and supple palate flavors from 16 years of age, this was a delicious wine.

Color: Dark center, purple-red edges

Nose: Fragrances of black berry and dark chocolate, a slight trace of old cedar and fall leaves. The aromas jump form the glass.

Palate: Elegant blackberry and black currants, dark fruits, supple tannins and acidity finish it off. This wine is still concentrated, for being 16 years old. In its early youth I feel this wine would have been very similar to the 2002 Pride Mountain Cabernet (tasting notes further below).
1992 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon

The surprise of the weekend! On the second night of our stay John had said he opened a bottle of this a few months back and it was pretty good. If you are not familiar with Woodbridge, it’s a value priced line of wines made by the old Mondavi Corporation that was consumed by Constellation Brands. Depending on when this was bottled (my guess is 14-15 years ago) anyone who would have thought this wine would perform so well this many years later would be quite surprised. It had great Cabernet character of cherry, some bell pepper, and earthy aged notes. The tannins were silky smooth and the wine delivered great pleasure to all who had some.

1991 Joseph Phelps "Mistral" Rhone blend

This was also a great surprise and beat expectations handily. One would think a Rhone varietal wine from California before it was popular to make and thus not practiced very often would not last the test of time. This one did just that with rich and complete flavors.

Color: Red center and brick at the edges

Nose: Red fruits, red liquorice, some supple white pepper

Palate: Rich and surprising, full red fruit flavors of raspberries and crushed cherry, some leather and smoke. The tannins are almost gone, but the remaining acids freshen it all up at the end.

2002 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Big and rich, this was the most powerful wine all weekend. Rich and bombastic, this wine was still booming at 6 years old.

Color: Opaque, black center with red edges

Nose: Rich crushed blackberry and currant, spice and oak are hanging out noticeably in the background.

Palate: Full throttle black cherry, blackberry and pepper. Rich oak and chocolate flavors finish off with big mountain fruit tannins and enough acidity to keep you coming back a lot!

2006 Mollydooker "Goosebumps" Sparkling Shiraz
I will finish the tasting notes with the first of my wines we had on Christmas Eve. The fizz was quite nice as it was very subtle, just enough so you notice it.

Color: Black center, dark red edges

Nose: Oak, big ripe red fruits, some spicy cedar notes

Palate: Big black raspberry, blueberries and spicy cracked pepper. Very ripe!
Who says that a Napa Valley wine made with the right care and attention can not age!?!

-Tom and Tucker

We took home our new family addition last weekend and Tucker has been a great bundle of joy to our home. He is 13 weeks old and now 14 pounds already! My blogging has been delayed from the Holiday festivities and caring for a baby boy Wheaton Terrier. Though today I plan to get more blogs in as I have been keeping good tasting notes!

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