Thursday, May 8, 2008

TN: Mystery Cabernet...and a story.

Sometimes we all need a lesson in humility. I was served one just recently in my own home. I try not to ever be pretentious or snobby when it comes to wine, but sometimes we get away from ourselves.

I was served a mystery wine on Saturday. Me being the wise ass I am, with knowing and only that it was a 1998 (not to mention it was about the 5th bottle of the night), I went right to Napa and then I started to guess, even asking if it were even Cabernet. (A cab theme diner).

Good color and density, (sure, its Napa). Decent cassis and blackberry (sure, it's Napa). Slight greenness and somewhat 'manufactured' in style (sure is a 1998). Good mouth feel and length, and nothing really bad. (Sure, its 1998...?). A little more midpalate explosion of fruit going sideways..."Is it even Cabernet? Maybe Merlot. OK Steve, what Napa Cab was this?"

Egg on my face:

Steve E's notes to me: 1998 Allegro Vineyards, "Cadenza", Brogue, York County, Pennsylvania (95% Cab Sauv. 3% Cab Franc, 2% Merlot) John Crouch (deceased) - WinemakerTim Crouch (deceased) - Vineyard manager"The "Cadenza" was a meritage that varied in its composition (my recollection is that this was the heaviest % of cab sauv that they used). They started doing it sometime in the late 1980s (I think). It wasn't done every year, but 1998 was the last one done. As I said last night, this was not the strongest effort among the Cadenza, but gave you a good idea of the style at Allegro under the Crouch's. Very Bordeaux".
Yes, you read it right. Pennsylvania. In that context, a very decent wine indeed.