Sunday, September 30, 2012

Plumpjack Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

Plumpjack Estate Napa Valley Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

A selection from our cellar remaining from a case we purchased at the winery during our Napa Wine Experience 1999. That trip featured one of our wine producers dinners featuring then Plumpjack associate winemaker Mary Pisor when we tasted Plumpjack 95 Reserve and pre-release ot the 97 Estate, and Plumpjack Chardonnay 1997. The then fairly new Plumpjack winery visit was one of our more memorable from numerous Napa trips during that time. This was the second vintage of PlumpJack Cabernet Sauvignon made from the grapes grown in the vineyards directly adjacent to the Oakville winery.

We pulled this bottle for our anniversary dinner a couple of weeks ago but didn't consume it then so we enjoyed it this evening over an intimate dinner of grilled Angus sirloin beefsteaks, corn on the cob and baked sweet potato, followed by baked chocolate cake and turtle ice cream. The wine was a great pairing to both the steak and the chocolate.

The Plumpjack Estate '96 opened with a big fruit and floral nose, dark garnet color and full body. Aromas and flavors of big ripe black cherry, black currant and black raspberry, a layer of cassis (more pronounced than earlier tastings' notes), and a slight hint of bittersweet chocolate, finishing with sweet soft oak from the French Demptos oak cooperage, and lingering soft tannins. At release this was projected to have "a long and vibrant life of more than 12 years." Well here it is at fourteen years just beginning to show any signs of diminution tempting promise of perhaps another half decade of enjoyable drinking, so we'll not rush the remaining bottles in our cellar, but expect no improvement from further aging.

RM 90 points.