Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wines of the Week - December 15th

There's a lot of amazing wine being produced in California, much of it with amazing price tags to match. So when you get the chance to taste some of the best at a below bargain price, it's time to jump in. These were three highlights out of a great line-up of wines.

Harlan Estate 2007

A wine released for $245, but you might have to add a zero on the end if you want to get a bottle of this hard to find wine. Or perhaps on a normal night you settle for their second label, The Maiden. But not tonight. This is a wine of tremendous power, made from a blend of Bordeaux grapes (the estate is 70% Cabernet) grown on steep slopes of the Mayacamas, west of Oakville in the Napa Valley. The wine is very plush, with plenty of dark fruit and cassis, and a very long finish. I'd love to try it again in 20 years. The style is not for everyone, but then again, everyone can't buy it.

Continuum Proprietary Red 2007

The Mondavi family started this winery in 2005 on Pritchard Hill on the east side of the Napa Valley. Headed by Tim Mondavi (Robert Mondavi's son), the family aims to maintain the "continuum of excellence, innovation and tradition" from Robert's heyday - hence the name. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2007 vintage is very fruit forward and enjoyable now, although it's best to give this another five or more years in the bottle.   

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Started by the Golitzin Family in 1979, this Snohomish-based Washington boutique winery makes four highly regarded red wines, led by their flagship Cabernet made from grapes grown in the Horse Heaven Hills and Red Mountain AVAs in the Columbia Valley. Incorporating a dash of Merlot, but omitting the dash of Cabernet Franc, the 2007 vintage is another winner for the winery, being the fourth vintage to receive 100 points from Parker. Ripe black currant fruit and some spicy characters. Still very youthful, it did open up a little in the glass, but was still only showing a fraction of its potential at the end of the evening.+

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