Vino Rouge Red Wine Tasting January 7, 2015

2015 began on a high note for our club indeed. Brother Don Oldmixon came up with an intriguing tasting theme when he presented 7 wines from Mountain Vineyards in northern California. We tasted wines made from elevated terroirs with elevated acid levels and since they were all from Napa, elevated price tags as well.

All the wines had a very similar tart mouth feel which caused several members to believe that we were tasting Cabernet Franc based wines. Tannin levels were also elevated in the rugged chewy wines which were corseted by nearly searing levels of acid. It was amazing how similar all 7 wines were, which provided a firm foundation for what we learned about high quality Napa Mountain wine making. Would these masculine wines be tamed by 10 more years of aging? Don’s tasting also reinforced our observations that when we have good tasting big wines which don’t fit a recognizable regional style, we’re probably drinking California Cabernet based wines.

Bold cuisine featuring fatty red meats is a good compliment to these wines. The frigid cold night may have kept other diners away so that we had a room at the Aurora Club in Providence, RI all to ourselves. The food service and hospitality extended to us by the Aurora Club were very good as usual. Beneath the photo is the lineup, with the first three paragraphs being the first, second and third place for our preference poll.

red wine reviews

2006 CASTELLO DI AMOROSA CABERNET SAUVIGNON, DIAMOND MOUNTAIN – With vineyards high above the fog and facing west, Castello di Amorosa’s wine grapes receive an extended exposure to the sun assuring their full ripeness at harvest. Castello di Amorosa’s Cabernet is a rich and powerful wine with chewy textures and diamond-hard tannins.

2007 KRUPP BROS VERAISON SYNCHRONY, ATLAS PEAK – Deep red with black hues; Aromas of violets, cassis, plums, and dark cherries layered with dusty earth, bay leaf, cedary oak and sage. It has a sweet fruit center showing ripe fruit flavors of blueberries, framboise, black currant and dark cherry. The mouth feel is soft yet displays tannins with a silky-velvety, supple finish.

2005 EAGLES TRACE LATITUDE 38, HOWELL MOUNTAIN – This Bordeaux style belnd consists of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. It is dark ruby/purple in color and presents aromas of violets, vanilla, spice and black fruits. The wine makes a beautiful entry to the palate with black berries, black currant and plums. It has great depth and concentration with lingering flavors of chocolate as a background to compliment the complex ripe tannins and long lingering finish.

2004 CAIN FIVE, SPRING MOUNTAIN – This is a classic Cain Five in the mold of 1991 and 1994 vintages, but more refined. The final blend incorporated more Merlot and less Petit Verdot than in some previous years. There was less heat , which in turn, gave us good concentration along with deeper and “sweeter” tannins.

2005 CHAPPELLET CABERNET SAUVIGNON, PRITCHARD HILL – Tightly wound, well-focused, intense and concentrated, with a dusty berry and spicy, leathery edge that sits on the palate and ends up dominating the flavor and texture. Revealing a deeper ruby/purple color as well as a classic bouquet of blueberries, creme de cassis, spring flowers, and background earth. Young, deep and promising.

2007 VOLKER ESTATES CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CHILES VALLEY – This a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc is a medium dark ruby wine with fragrant, spicy, currant and blackberry fruit aromas. The wine is a medium to full bodied delight of tight spicy currant and berry fruit flavors with medium full to full tannins.

2009 AMIZETTA CABERNET, HOWELL MOUNTAIN – Dark megenta color, with aromas of cedar, briar and cigar box. This great red offers bold flavors of blackberries and dew berries dominate the palate with this powerful focused wine. Sweet French oak with touch smole shows up on the aftertaste with medium yet rounded tannins.

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