From a recent trip to Napa I had a lot of wine, emphasis on a LOT, to taste. The story on the wineries will be in the upcoming April/May (2012) edition of Elite Magazine of Santa Clarita. But, for my wonderful readers, a thirsty audience that can’t wait until April, some of my tasting notes are below for wines I found truly remarkable:
Castello di Amoroso
Below is a vertical tasting of the Il Barone, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley (The few scores mentioned were offered by our host and the years not mentioned were unavailable for tasting):
2005, 100% Cab: Aromas of chocolate sauce, root beer, cherry candy followed by a welcoming taste of chocolate covered cherries and a gentle dryness of the palate.
2007, 94% Cab, 94 pts RP, 99 WS: A somewhat vegetal nose – with plenty of mushroom that was quickly surpassed by a great plumy taste and incredible smoothness.
2008, 94% Cab, 92 RP: Nice dark fruit and toastiness on the nose, and then a lovely blend of both dark fruit and black pepper on the palate.
2011, barrel sample, 100% Cab not yet blended: Young but plenty of potential!
2007 Yverdon Cabernet: Made from grapes from their property (and many soil types) this wine had a deep garnet color, a smooth balanced nose of plum and other dark fruits. The taste was just as balanced as the aromas promised a lovely fruit bowl of flavors and some white pepper to round it out.
2007 Wurtele Cabernet: Sourced from grapes grown three miles away with volcanic soil, we were greeted by a dark ruby to purple color, followed by flavors of both dark and bright fruit, some stemminess and dark cherry. (This is the one Jason Park has on the menu at Maru.)
Both of the above wines were aged in French Oak.
2007 Marriage: The color was a dark ruby with a brown edge – indicating some age. Made in a Bordeaux blend style of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot, I got some chocolate on the nose, and then…dark, ripe, spicy fruit – seemed altogether ripe and ready to drink!
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Montelena Estate, 99% Cab and 1% Merlot: A ruby color with a slightly darker hued edge, and then a blast of jammy fruits: raspberry, cherry and plum. Pepper and tannins hitting me at the finish, the taste was round. Enjoyed the tannins against the bright fruit flavors.
2008 Cabernet Franc, Vandal Vineyard, Los Carneros, Napa Valley:
Dark ruby-red color followed by forest floor soils, pepper, mushroom with a lovely bright taste and balance.
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Vandal Vineyard, Los Carneros, Napa Valley: Eddie’s favorite, their last vintage made, a garnet color, paler fruit taste (but welcoming!) with some nice chocolate.
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, “SLD”, Stags leap District, Napa Valley: Purple color, dark fruit, plums, pepper and a perfect finish!