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CLONYC 21 - 2007 Napa Cabernet

Last night 12 of us converged last night on a cold NY night to sample these Cabernets and fill our arteries with bad stuff. The food at North Square is fantastic, as is the service. My steak au poivre was great, and the frites equally so. Enough already! onto the wines!

All were served double blind, in flights of 3s with each flight being unveiled as we went. The last group was in 2. 14 wines, 5 flights. Most were decanted 3-4 hours in advance, (another mistake, all mine. In retrospect we should have popped and poured).
There was a Chablis (thanks Steve) and a Trimbach (Thanks Mike).

Flight 1

1) 2007 Corra Cabernet Sauvignon -The nose was all milk shake and cocoa powder. There was some muted fruits of black cherries and black berries, this seemed to be somewhat plushy . A medium weighted wine that please the senses, just some maybe a wee too much. It garnered 4 number 1 votes. 91pts

2) 2007 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon – this one will be a ‘hot point’ with the group. On first sniff this was proclaimed to be corked. I did not get that. I got some sweet cherry cola, black cassis and blackberries. A very pretty and fragrant wine that might not have been at its potential, but in my estimation was not flawed. within 20 minutes this got much more focused and precise. I enjoyed it and some on the table started coming around. It actually had 5 #1 votes. 92pts

3) 2007 EMH Blackcat Cabernet Sauvignon- maybe I had an unfair advantage, but I still played this tasting single blind since I knew what was in the house, just not in what order it was served in. This was an obvious pick-out by me as we had hosted Merrill Lindquist and her wines last month so my olfactory memory perception was spot on. There is a certain quality present in all of Merrill’s wines and this had that signature. There was some nice black cherry cola notes with some pretty plush mouthfeel. It seemed a bit typical amongst much flamboyance on the table. I liked this more last time I had it. A big thanks to Merrill for adding this to the line-up. 3 #1 votes. 90pts

Flight 2

4) 2007 Georg Rafael Cabernet Sauvignon- On whiff, I knew we were in new ‘cab land’ of the night. The nose was bold and brash. The palate was huge, but in a good way. This had all black fruits with tremendous mouth feel and structure. A bolder style indeed. It lacked the flamboyance I expect of the vintage and remained a perfect example of a variation of what’s coming from Napa these days. More classically structured, there really is something for everyone, and this is for me, especially when you find out its 1/3-1/5 the price of the average bottle on the table. 4 #1 votes for Wine of the flight. 92pts QPR of the night.

5) 2007 Kapcsandy State Lane ‘Grand Vin’ Cabernet Sauvignon- Initially this was closer to the Buccella (early on). It had some stuff, but seemed almost outclassed tonight. This gained an almost annoying sweet fruited profile, too sweet. I dumped it after a few more minutes as it tanked even further to the dark side. 1 Wine of the flight votes. Me:n/r

6) 2007 Schrader Beckstoffer Tokalon Cabernet Sauvignon- Hold onto your seats. This one is the ride of a lifetime. Its pure cab explosiveness on the nose. When I opened it at about 3pm my kitchen filled with its fragrant beauty. When poured later on it gained weight. Probably the most mouth coating wine I have ever experienced. Dark and ominous with goby layers of lush exotic fruits. Black cassis, crème de kirsch, pomegranate, and more. An incredible balance with multi-faceted tannins and a lilty acidity. Wow. 7 Wine of the flight votes. 96pts

Flight 3

7) 2007 Ramey Pedregal Cabernet Sauvignon- This is one that has never inspired me. I had the 2007 Ramey Annum last month that I thought was fantastic, but what about this one? Its one dimensional and blasé. Sure, there’s fruit and stuff but the package did not click for me. Great cab should inspire. For now, I would stick with the younger sibling. 4 WOTF votes. 89pts

8) 2007 Melka Metissa "Jumping Goat Vineyard"- Pretty nose with some exotic spice box. There was some red currant & bing cherries. Some cedar box. Finish was ok. I would like to try this one again at some point. 5 WOTF votes. 89 pts

9) 2007 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon- This was beautiful. Its was more bold and brash than others around it all while being elegant and classy. I got black cassis driven fruits with crème de cassis, kirsch and plum. I did detect just a hint of heat toward the finish but not enough to distract me or sway my vote for #1 in the flight. A great showing that reminded me a bit of the 2007 BV Georges de Latour last weekend. 3 WOTF. 93pts

Flight 4

10) 2007 Rockledge Premiere Napa Auction Cabernet Sauvignon- this was another beauty. All plushy black fruits with a very delineated structure with loads of class and breed. The first real iron fist/velvet glove wine on the night. A rare bottling that is impossible to find, I am glad to sample this tonight. Super long and fragrant, this had purity and super structure. Black plum compote, black cherry cola, wow. 9 WOTF votes. 94 pts.

11) 2007 Dominus- Dark fruit profile but I got some band aid on the nose. A bit off. other than that it was mostly uninspiring. Not sure where this lands in the years to come. I think it’s a stylistic thing for me; at least historically it is, as I have never been a fan. Why start now?. Pass. No votes. n/r

12) 2007 Maybach Materium Cabernet Sauvignon- a sweet and somewhat candied showing of one of my sweetheart wines. Some red and black currant with a red cherry note. Some vanilla milkshake and cedar box. My fourth time with this wine. Maybe it’s a vintage thing with me, as I prefer the 2006 over the 2007. 3 WOTF votes. 91 pts

Flight 5

13) Hourglass Blueline- Very nice but at this point I have had enough. An interesting two wine flight with the other being the Hourglass Estate. Everyone felt for sure this had to be the estate. Wrong! 11 votes WOTF. 93pts

14) Hourglass Estate – A big step downward from the Blueline. Again, notes are sparse here, but there was one lone WOTF vote. 90

Wine of the night: 2007 Schrader Tokalon- 6 votes (lost 1)
runner up: 2007 Rockledge PNV wine- 2 votes
1 vote each: Corra, Buccella, Blueline and Maybach

Thanks to everyone involved. Now let it fly! I am ready for ya.