Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cab Corner

Once a year my friends and I get together and blow it out. Phil is always gracious enough to host the venue and supply tremendous appetizers, as well as great wine. It is typical that everyone who comes to the party should bring something; it could be a dish to share or a bottle of wine sure to impress. Actually, it has become somewhat of an unspoken challenge to bring a wine that no one has had before or better yet a bottle on someones bucket list.
My favorite foods of the evening were: homemade pasta sauce, castelvetrano olives, roasted pork tenderloin (Phil's specialty) and a Riesling cake. The wines were numerous and all quite good. However, there were a couple of block busters.

It seems the night was dedicated to the king, Cabernet Sauvignon. I brought a bottle of 2009 Vineyard 29 CRU Cabernet. The wine has Philippe Melka oozing out of it. I love his wines and even though the 29 CRU is reasonably priced at around $50 (Bryant Family sells for $300) the wine showed his style of deep fruit, fine tannins, and a multi-layered finish. Aromas and flavors of cassis, raspberry, cherry, pepper, cocoa, and toasted coffee were identifiable immediately. The wine only needed 15 minutes to open and show off its racy youth. I believe this wine will smooth out over the next five years and taste even better.

I think Frank brought my favorite wine of the evening. We were blessed to try a 2008 Caymus Special Selection Cabernet. The Caymus went through proper decanting and breathing procedures before we were allowed to meet its acquaintance. I was able to try this wine two times. The first time, it presented itself as a bit tight and uncomplicated, even though the fruit aromas were developing nicely. It smelled ripe with cassis, vanilla, spice, and plum. The tannins were fine and integrated but they were blocking the wines full potential.

Later in the evening, while everyone else was onto the next wine of the night, I found old man Caymus resting on the counter; I think they all forgot he has there. I dared to pour another taste. Raising my glass with nobody around, I felt like I was stealing something, I reintroduced the Cabernet to my palate. WOW! The wine had sat for an hour and turned into a silky goblet of fruit. The tannins had softened and allowed the full development of the fruit and accenting aromas to step forward. I read this morning that the 2008 was the first year Caymus blended Merlot into this wine. I think it showed great foresight and I believe the Merlot helped the wine achieve a silky, smooth, almost symphonic texture.

I love discovering these beauties.

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