Here is a tasting we did recently in our VINO restaurant.
Yes, Cabernet is now being planted throughout the world. It seems to do well in many different kinds of soils & growing conditions. Having said that, finding distinctive, more unique & handcrafted renditions can be quite the challenge. Here are examples of four worth consideration. Each from a different growing region. How often do opportunities like this come about?
2011 Gramercy Cabernet Sauvignon “Columbia Valley”–This is an important wine to consider as Washingston state is primed to really boom in the very near future with Gramercy Cellars being one of the shining lights. What I learned to really appreciate on my recent trip to Washington state is several things. The average cost of premium grapes run in the $3,000 to $4,000 per ton range, which is WAY lower than one would pay in Napa or Sonoma valleys. This translates into less expensive bottle prices. Secondly, many of the vines, especially in the top vineyards are own rooted AND have some age to them. Stylistically, I really appreciated the savory edge many, such as this Gramercy, innately have. I also appreciate how they approach their wines with Old World sensibilities–looking to wineries such as Chateau La Conseillante & Chateau Leoville Las Cases rather Harlan or Bryant Family. Their 2011 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, all from the truly iconic Phinny Hill vineyard & saw 20 months in oak, 35 to 40% new. This wines does have wonderful savoriness & is so very elegant, suave, superbly textured & balanced. As I had noted in a previous post, superstar Master Sommelier Greg Harrington is the vision & co-winemaker Brandon Moss is the energy. Kudos guys!
2013 Chateau Aney “Haut Medoc”–Classic Left Bank Bordeaux–“65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. Located in Cussac Fort Médoc lying strategically between St-Julien and Margaux, where the summer sun is tempered by the cool breezes of the Garonne, and round, polished, gravelly, river stones cover the vineyard”. I have read somewhere how scientists have said noted that the vines’ roots cannot pick up the minerals & transmit them to the grapes. Well, if that is true for limestone than they must feel the same about gravel. So, my question is……then why does this wine smell of gravel?
2013 Camino Cabernet Sauvignon “Montecillo Vineyard”–A wine to show tasters of the huge potential the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas truly has. This one is 100% Cabernet (planted in 1964), on steep, rocky hillsides, wild yeast fermented & sees 21 months in oak, 50% new. This is the handiwork of Tadeo Borchardt (who is also the winemaker at Neyers. I think of it as a real thoroughbred–powerful & full of mojo/character, all done effortlessly so & with no fan fare. 100 cases produced.
2012 Selene Cabernet Sauvignon “Dead Fred Vineyard”–Classic Napa Valley! 100% Cabernet from the cooler (Coombsville) area of southern Napa Valley Valley. “Just under three acres are planted on soils that range from sandy loam to gravelly and even cobbly loams, with clone 8 Cabernet Sauvignon on St. George“. Another masterpiece from superstar winemaker Mia Klein. Only 236 cases produced. I would also like to add, Mia delivers these wines at such amazing prices, when one considers this is premium Napa Valley fruit crafted by a superstar winemaker!!!! OMG