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CLONYC #8 - Mature Mayacamas and Bella Oaks with Impeccable Provenance

All tasting notes courtesy MikeP
Last night. 9 thirsty souls converged on Zoë in SoHo for the ritual of consuming red wine, eating great fare, and hanging with a few buds. Not just any red wine mind you but some old Cali Cabs. This group was relaxed and fun loving. Enough wit for a group thrice its size I might add. It’s always good to see old friends and make new. The food was top notch and the service impeccable as always.
Thanks to Steve G for bringing that wonderful 2000 Kistler McCrea Chardonnay. It was pure and elegant. A perfectly matured example of a varietal I don’t know much of.
Thanks to Greg DP for acquiring those 3 big bottles and offering up graciously the Martinis from his own cellar.
Thank you Steve E for the Cask 23 and Blankiet. Your generosity overflows…both figuratively & literally.

And now…the wines:
1974 Louis Martini Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon; nose of maderized red wine, or port. Musty dried sour dark cherries. This had most definitely seen its better days. N/R
1975 Louis Martini Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon, not very dissimilar to the 1974. The maderization was in full swing. This slowly turned to wet cardboard. Hmmm? N/R
1976 Louis Martini Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon, this has a subdued nose of dried red fruits. Some soy, tobacco, spice and tar were evident on the palate. Although slightly oxidized, this was actually quite nice. Very elegant. This must have been a stunner 10 years back. 88/100

1973 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon (from magnum), now we’re talking. This had a great lush dark resolved fruit profile that belied its age. The color was dark. There was great dark currant, blackberry, tar, cocoa, and so much more going on. I kept this glass alive until the end of the night. It changed and evolved getting lusher and deeper. The finish was long. If tasted blind I would place this at about 6 or 7 years of age. This 35 year old was amazing. (Comforting & the night's first warm blanket) 94/100
1975 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon (from magnum). Something interesting when a great wine is followed by an even greater wine. This wine in itself was worth the price of admission for the night. Dark brooding color. Silky dark fruited and jam packed full of character. This had a wonderful fully resolved tannin level acted like a conveyor for all else. Some soy, cedar box, tobacco, & cassis. This wine needed a night to watch. A long finish that was like hitting a birdie on 18 that gets you smiling and planning your next outing even before you get back to the cart., here, your next taste. (If the Martinis were grandparents of the night, this was the mistress you must throw your wallet at). 96/100
1977 Heitz Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon. This was pure 1970s California…. fast-forwarded. Slightly edgy and rustic. A nice dark fruit profile that seemed masked by a matured high oak level? Not quite sure. Some currant and spice, and some other nice secondaries. Kevin to my right loved it so, I emptied my glass and got myself more of that '75 Mayacamas. 89/100

1991 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23. This was dark and brooding. Much more in today’s style of Napa Cabernet. Deep vanilla and cassis on the nose. A wonderful purity. The palate a very elegant currant, tar, cocoa, cedar, & vanilla, this was a hedonistic wine. Structured, classy elegant and brawny all at once. Just a balanced beauty. A long smooth finish that went on for 45 seconds. 17 and acting like 7. 94/100
2002 Blankiet Merlot. Merlot? Yes, Merlot. My friend Steve was gracious enough to open this at the end of the evening. I wish I had 3 hours to appreciate and watch this sexy beast. Plush dark cherry pie and ripe tomato leaf on the nose. The palate had the cherries, black and red plums, cocoa, and anise. The mouth feel was incredible: round and soft, but firm and structured. It harkened memory of a wonderful Ch. Figeac I had many years ago, (when I drank that sought of thing that is…). I would have rated this higher if it did not remind me initially of Chianti on the nose. 91/100

Who ever said that California Cabs can’t age? These Mayacamas behaved like children more than middle agers.

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