Friday, August 29, 2008

Sky Saddle Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Mendocino County
14.5% alcohol
from WineQ

The Wooden Guys like this wine. They like it a lot.

The nose on this wine has a distinct vegetal smell plus dark fruit. I was having some trouble putting my finger on exactly what so I went to the jellies and figured it out. Sure, there is some blackberry and maybe some dark cherry, but this time there was also something else. Elderberry. Yup, elderberry. I have a jar of Trappist Preserves just for this purpose. It is a richer earthier smell than most preserves or jellies. Interesting. It was also rather hot, not a big surprise at 14.5% alcohol.

Oh man is that complex. This is going to take a few minutes. I can tell you to start with that it ran from attack through midpalate to finish and hit about 8 distinctly different points in just a few second. Give me some time to work through this one. First, crisp french toast with elderberry preserves. The fruit is very earthy and sweet, very rich, and there is a crisp fried bread taste, too. This is a very rich full-bodied wine, but not a fruit bomb. The depth and earthiness of the fruit keeps it from being overpowering. Blackcurrant comes out on the midpalate along with vanilla and brown sugar. Mouth feel is quite good, matching the richness of the fruit. Tannins are powder-fine but significant. They do not overpower, but dry enough to leave a sense of leather along with a long sweet finish.

This could really be terrific on Night Two. Or it could fall apart completely. Let's see, okay?

Night Two

The elderberry is still there on the nose. In fact, it is more obvious because the nose is more fruity, jammy, than on Night One. Blackcurrants are there, too, but only secondary to the elderberry.

The palate is still very complex, even more than on Night One. Elderberry, blackcurrant, plus sour cherries are the fruit, but that is not all. Add a brown sugar crust on crispy french toast, with all that fruit as a jammy compote on top, and you get the midpalate if you sprinkle it with nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish is sweet and leathery, tannins far smoother than on Night One. It is long, too. Mouth feel is full bodied.

This is good, very good. I think it will get even better with some cellar time.


Dr. Debs said...

I, too, loved this wine. It was one of those cabs that made you go, oh, yeah, Cab can be GREAT. I got herbal stuff too, but my herbs were more like eucalyptus. And couldn't agree more--this will be even better next year and the year after. Good stuff. Great review.

Marshall Æon (Enneagram) said...

Glad you liked it! Sky Saddle is a favorite for WineQ members.

BTW, I talked to 2 wineries today that are interested in joining WineQ that have 89 point wines. More are on the way! :)