Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2005 Sorrel Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon (USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County)

Last year about this time I found the 2003 Sorrel Canyon Cabernet and recommended it to everyone I knew who liked Cabernet. Many many cases were sold and I even got 2 or 3 for myself. By New Years I was unable to find any more. I am happy to announce it's back and better than ever.

Ultra dark. A color not ever encountered in such an inexpensive wine. The nose has some sweet red currant and a certain flowery headiness that tells me there maybe a touch of Cab Franc in the mix. There are wonderful Bing cherries there as well. The palate has a wonderful mouth feel that is fruit forward and deftly balanced. The texture defies the price. There's allot going on here: cola nuts, vanilla, Chinese apple, tar, and black cherry. The tannins are very agreeable and soft and the acid is a touch high on the end, but this wine carries it nicely. I like this better than last years '03 (and that's a feat in itself). It has more elegance, structure and class. Not the longest finish ever, but you know what? We can forgive something....no?
You will be hard pressed to find a better deal for $12. Hard pressed. Super QPR two years running. 92/100

1997 Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon (USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford)

Deep ultra dark and brooding. This has some mature edges, but still vibrant. The nose has some dark complex cassis with some lead pencil shavings and tar. A little petroleum evident that adds complexity and interest.As this comes down to room temperature there is a hint of reductiveness, just a hint. Not distracting, but there. There is black currant, crème de cassis, some cedar box, a touch of tar and some black olive. This is very 'Left bank'. The tannins have resolved and the acid level is slightly, ever so raised. A very nice bottle indeed. I say drink 'em if you got them but should be good for some time yet. There was more than its share of sediment here too.(from a 375).