As I was getting ready to leave the Circle of Hope’s Vine 2 Wine CLASSIC last month, there was a rumor swelling…all opened bottles had to be finished, poured out, or stored properly in the trunks of cars to enjoy at home.
I made a beeline for the Library Wine tables first, and there was my pal, Steve Elzer, pouring wines from a cellar that he and his wife, Amy, had generously brought to the event. He handed me a 1994 Quintessa Rutherford Napa Valley red blend that he had opened, but hadn’t yet poured.
I didn’t even try this at another table, I felt I got more than I thought was my due and so I watched while other volunteers zigzagged their way around to find their own treasures.
No, I didn’t have it the same night as the event, as my glass had been kept more-than-full-enough with wonderful tastes all day.
So, fast forward, to day two after the event for my review:
Rutherford Napa Valley
Red Wine (Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.)
Color – Deep garnet with an amber edger. (The edge color indicates some aging.)
Aroma – White pepper, plum, mushroom.
Flavor – Medium tannins, blackberry fruit, balanced.
Length – Medium length.
Conclusion – After five minutes in my glass the wine softened much more than I had expected it to. Quite enjoyable for having so much age on it, possibly the Merlot factor as a Bordeaux with a lot of Merlot can go a long time.
My curiosity got the better of me and I checked the ratings on Wine Spectator. I found a 1997 review of the 1994 that gave it 91 points. This $70 bottle was expected to be good through 2001.
Ratings, for me, are not the end of the wine discussion. Reading them ahead, or any tasting notes for that matter, can prove to make the experience far too subjective to me.
So, my conclusion is that I was more than happy with my wine. It was a generous gift, a wonderful memory from a wonderful day and damn good well past 2001.