Monday, January 14, 2008

1996 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve (USA, California, Napa Valley)

From magnum. This was from a recent winery release.

Medium garnet color. A wonderful pretty nose of sweet vanilla, eucalyptus, creme de cassis, and red fruits dominate in a very sexy showy way. The palate had intense creme de cassis,smooth sweet red fruits and a slightly overdone (to my taste) vanilla component. Some tar and leather. The tannins were completely resolved. A long finish completes this one. This was undeniably GdL. Showed much better than our BV GdL Vertical 18 months back. Peaking but in no danger for a couple of more years.

The recent cellar release and format (magnum) guaranteed a wonderful provenance. The Marilyn Monroe of the evening. Thanks to Steve E. for sharing this and all the magnums below.


TN: 1996 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (USA, California, Napa Valley)

From Magnum. Nice brick red color. Not too expressive on the nose; some blackberry and some red currant. The palate shows smooth silky tannins, complex red and black fruits with some secondary notes of cigar box, tar, and mushroom. A very 'Mondavi' like wine indeed. This can stand well on its own, but when then higher rent (and not so higher rent) neighbors are in attendance, can lag a bit. A great food friendly was (as always). Interesting to see where this is at the moment. I just sampled the 2004 Mondavi Reserve last month and it was a stunner. Good to see such an 'Icon' back on track, and I am always happy to sample when I can. The Jack Nicholson of the evening. (you just know the movie will be good, if not great).

1996 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Selection

From Magnum. This had amazing deep garnet color, as these Mountain wines most times do. There was a typical slight funkiness (secondary?) I find with many Howell Mountain offerings. Some nice dark fruits filled the nose. The palate had a brambly fruit smorgasbord, some secondaries of cedar and leather, as well as an earthy quality. The tannins were slightly angular. I really preferred the taste to the smell of this wine. This still has much life. I commented that the BV nose on the La Jota palate would be an almost perfect wine (to me).


TN: 1996 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena)

This was liquid joy. An amazing deep color. The nose showed rich dark black fruits of plums and blackberries. The palate revealed a perfect balance of black fruits, tar, soy, vanilla and cedar box. An AMAZING tannin & acid hovered in the background. This was firing at full throttle. Elegance, breed, and class personified.
Every once in a while a bottle comes along that reassures ones belief; this wine was the Baryshnikov of the night. Wow.

Thanks Collin. I did not get a good enough look into the '96 Peter Michael Les Pavots to write a note.