Tuesday, June 30, 2009

California Cabernet

I am really starting to discover some great California wines. This is big news for me since I generally gravitate towards Italian and French wines.

Case in point: Two new Cabs I am very fond of (new arrivals):

2005 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley $42.99
91 Points: Wine Advocate
The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa exhibits a dense ruby/purple color as well as sweet, tarry, black currant, chocolate, cedar, and wood smoke-like flavors, and decent acidity. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.One of Northern California’s most successful winemakers/consultants, David Ramey’s personal winery continues to go from strength to strength. Ramey has had the best of both worlds, working in Bordeaux for the Moueix family, and in California at Dominus, Chalk Hill, and Rudd Estate.

Now in stock! (but going fast).

2006 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $54.99
94 Points: Wine Advocate
The 4,400-case cuvee of 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (96% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc) is brilliant. It would probably be hard to find a Cabernet Sauvignon of this quality with this production level, all estate fruit, and such impeccable viticulture and winemaking. This wine reminded me of a great vintage of Pontet Canet in Pauillac, Bordeaux. The deep creme de cassis flavors intermixed with charcoal and lead pencil shavings soar from the glass. Its full body, stunning ripeness, sweet tannin, and substantial flavor authority make for a brilliant Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next two decades.

These are both full-throttle wines but with elegant textures and pure fruit. A real joy to drink.

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