Vino Rouge Red Wine Tasting August 5, 2015

This month the club visited one of its favorite spots again, The Aurora Club, and we were treated like royalty as usual. Member Tommy put on quite a show and rekindled our palates with some really awesome 2007 California Cabs. Specifically, some terrific juice from Napa Valley. While the club was generally in line with the first three present bottles, expressing Cabernet Sauvignon as the hidden varietal, the remaining three bottles fooled the club and had it veering from having this one figured out. While there were some distinct winners, there was not a slouch in the bunch!

Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The following paragraphs present the tasted wines and their associated tasting notes, in order of the club’s preference poll for this month’s tasting.

2007 ALTAMURA Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley – Drink Range – 2012-2024; Robert Parker Rating: 95
Probably the best Cabernet Sauvignon I have ever tasted from Altamura, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is aged 30 months in 70% new oak from the same high-elevation vineyard as the Sangiovese. Notes of espresso roast, graphite, black currants, sweet black cherries and earthy, loamy terrior are all present in this dense purple, full bodies, exuberant, concentrated and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon.

2007 Beringer Vineyards Cabenert Sauvignon Private Reserve – Napa Valley – Drink Range – 2010-2030; Robert Parker Rating: 95
One of the greatest Private Reserves ever made, it ranks alongside the Private Reserves made in 1991, 1992, 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2004. Its dense plum/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of cassis, licorice, smoke and graphite intermixed with hints of bay leaf and chocolate. Full-bodied and velvety-textured with beautifully integrated acidity, tannin, alcohol and wood, it is an opulent, full bodied Cabernet that should drink beautifully for 20 or more years.

2007 Oakville Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley – Drink Range – 2013-2033; Robert Parker Rating: 92+
The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville plays it closer to the vest than either Cabernet Franc of Zinfandel Field Bland. Locked and loaded, it posses plenty of black currant fruit intermixed with hints of earth and oaks as well as juicy, full bodied mouth feel. This youthful, still grapy wine spent 19 months in French oak. It has lots of potential, but needs to be forgotten for 3-4 years and should age from 15-20 years thereafter.

2007 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve – Napa Valley – Drink Range – 2013-2043; Robert Parker Rating: 95
The phenomenal 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour is the greatest BV Private Reserve made since the 1970 and 1968. The good news is 11,000 cases were produced. The return of this superb Napa classic is fabulous news, and the brilliance of this wine is evidenced by its opaque purple color and its big, sweet, blackberry, cassis, subtle smoke, graphite, and spicy oak-scented nose. Dense and full bodies with sweet but substantial tannins, thrilling levels of concentration, texture and richness, and a heady finish, this wine will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age, and last three decades or more. It’s time to once again fill your cellars with the BV Private Reserve, one of the historic names in California wine folklore.

2007 Antica (Anitori) Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley – Drink Range – 2009-2029; Robert Parker Rating: 94
The finest wine I have yet tasted from Piero Antinori’s rocky hillside vineyard on Soda Canyon Roadt on southeast Napa, this 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon boasts a dense purple color with a rich, sumptuous bouquet of licorice, creme de cassis and smoky oak. This opulent, fleshy, fill-bodies wine exhibits beautiful purity and concentrated fruit. it should age nicely fro 15-20 years. Impressive and reasonable priced.

2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve – Napa Valley – Drink Range – 2014-2039; Robert Parker Rating: 94
As I indicated last year, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is a brilliant effort. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, it has begun to shut down slightly, but reveals an opaque purple color along with deep, sweet, cedary, black currant aromas intermixed with hints of tobacco leaf, licorice and graphite. Full-bodies and rich, this impressive 2007 needs 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25+ years.

For dessert, we had an incredible…

Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

1985 Fonseca Vintage Port, Portugal
The 1985 Fonseca is still youthful in appearance with hardly any ageing on the rim. The nose offers kirsch, sloes and Christmas cake. With time, there are subtle notes of dried fig and dates beginning to emerge and add to the complexity. The palate is medium-bodied and beautifully balanced on the supple, rounded entry. It is not quite as complex as the aromatics, with dates and dried fig, the finish mellow and refined. It is very elegant for a Fonseca, weighty but supremely well focused. This is a fabulous Fonseca that is ready to drink now, but will age for another 30 or 40 years. (NM)(2/2013)