Upcoming CLONYC events



CLONYC 43 - Berto and friends.

Last evening the group said 'hi' to fellow wine-board member Humberto Dorta. When Humberto reached out to me and asked to set something up, I jumped at the opportunity. I have always been a fan of his notes on Wine Berserkers and previously, the Robert Parkers forum. He is one of those note-writers I seem to connect with. It was la great chance to meet and open some awesome wines, and there was our theme: Awesome Cabs.
The group did not disappoint. Humberto comes with a full bag too!

Thanks to everyone for bringing great wines and being part of the fun!

2006 Marcassin Chardonnay Three Sisters Vineyard – I will defer to those more trusted than myself to fill in the many blanks I am sure to leave on this one. I can tell you it is beautiful. Nose shows some sweet melon and peaches. Mouthfeel is fantastic and balanced spot on. There was nothing poking out whatsoever. Golden hued and precise with some great ‘light-weighted’ toasty notes, this was fully resolved and in a perfect pleasing spot. It just glided across my palate and I loved it.

1993 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Proprietor Grown Pritchard Hill- beautiful nose of sweet black/red fruits. Love the aromatics. I feared this would be too ‘evolved’ for my delicate palate. I was wrong. While it does show a decent amount of secondaries, this is nowhere devoid of fruit, as a matter of fact, it displays it all so prominently. Balance is spot on and length as you would expect. Watching this evolve in the glass for 10 minutes was a treat. This showed grace and presence. My WOTF. 93

2001 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve- Beringer PR is all about consistency. Some pretty fruits of cassis and red cherries, I love the fullness this brings which to me beckoned the question: Is there merlot in here? I still don’t know, but I sure might bet something there is. Fully integrated tannins, this has a interesting cool streak running through it. It may be a bit outclassed in the flight, but its great nonetheless. 92

2003 Abreu Cabernet Sauvignon Madrona Ranch- I always appreciate to taste 2003 Cabernets. Now that they have a decade plus, many have really come into something special. This has some pure red fruits with an almost clipped mid-palate that I would normally attribute to vintage, but there is no mistaking this is a very good wine. Fully resolved and holding on with some sandalwood and Kirsch Royal. 90

The Bryant garnered 7 first place votes making it WOTF. The Abreu got 3. The last singular vote for the Beringer. I had the Beringer my number 2.

2004 McCauley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard- Count on Steve to bring a dark horse, but a tasty one for sure. Nose screams To-Kalon in a huge way. Palate shows some great structure with a black fruited, creamy midpalate that I really love. Notes of leather and soy, balance is nice and tannins still youthful. 93

2005 Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard – the nose on this was crazy fragrant, it just shot from the glass. Palate showed some deftness and lots of class. Nicely structured, this had a pure stream of black fruit medley. Love the dark currants and black raspberries. A hint of warm vanilla and some sassafras brought interest. Full and profound, I loved it. Food certainly helped this along nicely. 95

2006 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon CuvĂ©e Katrina Eileen- This is not your father’s Cabernet, nor is it your mother’s. This is Cabernet squared. It’s bold and copious red/black fruits attack your senses and if you are ready, or heaven forbid, a fan of only ‘classic cabs’, you may just collapse in place. Purple core of darkness, this was soft vanilla shake and cocoa. Tannins are huge but behaved and acid fully surrounded by softness. Food is not this wines friend. I enjoyed it out of the gate but felt it wore itself down and became a bit ‘candied’ as the other two wines worked upward to awesomeness. Still and interesting wine and Buccella remains a treat for me whenever I can get some. 91

The Araujo got 7 first place votes on the flight, the Buccella 2 and McCauley 2 as well. Interesting statistic point here is the McCauley getting 7 second place votes. My WOTF was the Araujo.

2005 Fairchild Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Sigaro- A late entry by Humberto. A very pretty cab indeed. A bit bold and well structured (pretty typical of 2005s) I love the verve on this. Some spring flowers popped right out at me. Black and pure with a tiny note of cola and cardamom. Long finish completed this well. I think I have only had the pleasure of one other bottle of Fairchild and it was the IIIG. I seem to recall needing to investigate this label more at that time, and I renew that goal. 93

2007 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon- Scarecrow Scarecrow Scarecrow Scarecrow Scarecrow Scarecrow Scarecrow Scarecrow Scarecrow. It’s Scarecrow. So? I still don’t get it and doubly so I still maintain I don’t get 2007s in general. A pretty nose of red and black cherries and currant, this seemed to lack some mid-palate and fell short in the acid department. For giggles I went reading the cellartracker notes on this one. I may be putting all my wine up for sale and going back to collecting stamps; I never did get that C3a Inverted Jenny I had my eye on. 87

2008 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select- Everything the Scarecrow is not, the Hillside Select is. I love this wine. I would like to believe (probably wrongly so) that I can spot this wine on nose alone. Fragrant with dark berry fruits and a sweet creamy note, just spectacular. Balanced and structured with layers of depth this just pleases all around. I maintain that if I ‘hit’ lotto, I will make this my house wine. Notes of violets, worn leather and tea with tannins intertwining it all nicely like a bow on a birthday gift. Long and true and pure and deft, the creamy middle and the notes of cola just add to it all. Wowsa, I have landed my WOTF and WOTN. 96

6 votes for the Fairchild WOTF, 4 for the Shafer. The lone 1 vote pulling up the rear for the Scarecrow.

I have been firing all my cylinders until this point. One of my 8 are down. Steve’s Congruence was the saving wine in this flight.

2010 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon- after a 24 hour double decant as recommended by Graeme, this just did not come up to the level of the company on the table. It was a good cab for sure, but we all find good cabs for a fraction of the cost of this. 89

2010 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection – I expected more from this and I am sure this suffers tonight from its much too early opening. A bit candied with a note of heat down the middle, I got red fruits and some awkwardness. A 24 hour slow-ox would have done wonders. Tonight I was 90 on this and I am being kind.

2010 Congruence Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville Reserve- Pure and black, this showed some of its depth through the wall of structure and tannins. I have had this a few times and find it consistent with all other notes I have written. What it suffers from tonight is many of the others previously commented on wines aromatics and stage presence. Still youthful. Drink the regular Congruence in 2010 and revisit this in 3-4 years. That’s my plan. 92.5

5 votes for the Congruence WOTF. 4 for the Caymus and 1 for the MacDonald. Regardless, Humberto is always welcomed back. We had one who did note vote at all.

I will mention for a point of reference we did have a corked 2010 Phelps Insignia in the 3rd flight.

The ‘unscientific’ WOTN vote went like this: Shafer:5, Fairchild:4, Bryant:2, Araujo:1

A great time and many a great wines. Thanks t