CABERNET SAUVIGNON–’07 Duckhorn; ’98 Hess; ’99 Artesa; ’97 Chateau St Jean “Reserve”; ’01 Philip Togni; ’06 Groth “Reserve”; ’08 Groth “Reserve”; ’96 Heitz “Martha’s Vineyard”; ’05 Palmaz; ’03 Caymus “Special Selection”; ’07 Caymus “Napa Valley”; Ardente “Atlas Peak”; ’97 Livingston Moffett; ’06 Ghost Block; ’05 Flora Springs “Out of Sight Vineyard”; ’03 Flora Springs “Out of Sight Vineyard”….PLUS–’83 Chateau Lynch Bages; ’03 Chateau La Gomerie; ’09 Kistler Chardonnay “Dutton Ranch” & ’09 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir “Sonoma Coast”.
I helped to open & decant the wines & then unfortunately had to rush back to our VINO restaurant. BUT, I was able to taste a few REAL gems before heading out. ( Thank you all for sharing).
2005 Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon
Palmaz is an exciting Napa Valley wine project. The Estate vineyard is 55 acres on the slopes of Mount George at the southern end of the Vacca Range. It consists of 14 unique terroirs at 3 elevations–400, 1200 & 1400 feet. The consulting winemaker is superstar Mia Klein (Selene). As I told the attendees, Mia always crafts such gorgeous wines, which tend to be more about elegance, class, fabulous texture & balance & sophistication.
2001 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon
I remember having a fabulous 1976 Chardonnay made by Philip Togni when he was still winemaker at Cuvaison. He was a real standout winemaker back then. Philip studied with the legendary Emile Peynaud at the University of Bordeaux & was also assistant regisseur at Chateau Lascombes, both quite the accomplisment back then. In 1981 he planted his own vineyard, 2000 feet up, near the top of Spring Mountain. His first commercial Cabernet Sauvignon was with the 1983 vintage. Sadly because of phylloxera, Togni had to replant his 25 acre parcel in the early 90’s. Tasting his 2001, reminded me of the Californian Cabernets of Old….earthy, sturdy, complete, well structured & well balanced. (When I first had it upon release, it was tight fisted, closed, puckering & unyielding). I really miss the old days & these kinds of wines. Bravo!
I smiled to myself when I saw this bottle. The theme was Cabernet Sauvignon & two people brought French versions. The second curve ball was this wine is 100% Merlot…albeit a 94 pointer! The home base property is Chateau Beau-Sejour-Becot of St Emilion, which was purchased by Michel Becot in 1969. In 1995 Becot purchased the adjacent 2.5 hectares & is today looking to produce “garage wine” under the Chateau La Gomerie label with the help of French superstar wine consultant Michel Rolland. The wine initially had some bottle stink to it, which dissipated after me decanting it back & forth for 20 or so minutes. Thank you Ed for bringing this wine!
I was really taken back when I saw this bottle. 30 year old, classified growth Bordeaux? When decanting, the wine’s nose was simply intoxicating–so glorious, classic & full of pedigree & breed. Yes, there was the cedar box/tobacco/dried fruit smells characteristic to Pauillac, but the breed/pedigree is what took it over the top for me. Just stellar!!!! And amazing. Thank you David!