Variety Cabernet Sauvignon
SubRegion Sonoma County
Appellation Dry Creek Valley
Suggested Retail $45
Disclosure This was received as an unsolicited free sample.
The Big Wooden Guy likes wine made with a delicate hand and an eye toward a long rest in the cellar.
The nose is interesting, more muted than the typical California Cab, but still fruity. The fruits up front are raisins and dried cherries, but there is also eucalyptus and menthol.
Fruit on the initial attack is more tart than the nose, starting with sour wild cherries and wild strawberries. There is some blackcurrant hiding under the red fruit. Eucalyptus and menthol are on the mid-palate. Acid and tannins are strong, even aggressive, though not harsh. This is truly a candidate for softening between Night One and Night Two.
The nose changed a lot from Night One to Night Two, as I expected. The fruit is darker, but still rich, with raisins, prunes, and some blackcurrant. There is also a distinct aroma of caramel, but in the background, along with tobacco. Is this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, or is there some Cabernet Franc in the mix? It also has a bit of black pepper.
The palate, too, has changed since Night One. The mouth-feel is more full, the attack richer and darker. There is still a little red fruit, but it is all Bing and black berry. The rest is black fruit, raisins and blackcurrant, moving to blackberry and black pepper on the mid-palate. The mid-palate also has cedar and tobacco, true "cigar box" flavors. Acids are a bit less aggressive, but tannins remain fresh-leather-firm.
Once in a while, a wine calls for a third-night tasting,as it unwinds a little from Night One to Night Two, but seems to have more to offer. This was one of them, and a third night paid off.
Blackberries and raisins opened the nose, followed by brambles, a touch of tobacco and eucalyptus.
The initial attack was made up of blackberries, dried blueberries, and lots of black pepper. Cedar and light touches of vanilla appears on the mid-palate. Tannins were smooth, a bit more integrated than Nights One and Two. The finish was long.
This is good wine, far more reminiscent of a balanced Bordeaux, or a good 70's California Cab, than so much of what is coming out of the Golden State today. It is also very young. The improvement from Night One through Night Three is a great hint (but no guarantee) that it will get better with several years sleeping in the cellar.
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