Saturday, November 10, 2012

Black Stallion Napa Cabernet - Pahlmeyer Jayson

I met up with dear friend Colonel Don Z for dinner at the Fat Canary Restaurant in the heart of historic Williamsburg, VA with colleague Danny A. When the ships sailed from the Old World to the New, they stopped in the Canary Islands for supplies. One of the important provisions brought aboard was wine, referred to as “Canary.” This fine dining restaurant is named after a reference in the Colonial Era playwright John Lyly's poem, "Oh for a Fat Canary - rich Palermo sherry ....".  A pleasant setting with great selection of starters, salads, supple soup, seafood and meat entrees with a carefully selected wine list of favorites and tempting offerings.

I saw Don's fast pace gait as he approach and soon learned he was excited and eager to meet and to share this wine discovery that he brought for our dinner - Black Stallion Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. He had this recently up in Oregon and promptly ordered some to be shipped in for our dinner. It was a worthwhile effort as this wine was indeed a great discovery and highlight for a wonderful dinner. I ordered a bottle of a favorite - Pahlmeyer Jayson Red Wine to compare and complement the dinner tasting. These were great accompaniment and perfect pairing with the Foie Gras, Braised Ribs and Oyster starters, and then the Grilled Beef Tenderloin entrees. Don also brought along a Cakebread Napa Valley Chardonnay 2010 for the soup salad course and his entree.    

Black Stallion Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

The Black Stallion continued our week long series of tastings of Cabernet Sauvignons from the Oak Knoll District, the wine grape growing Appellation in the southern end of the Napa Valley, following the Blackbird Vineyards Proprietary Red and then the Trefethen Cabernet from earlier in the week. Along with the Pahlmeyer Jayson, this continued in the style of Bordeaux style Cabernet and Merlot based blends. 
Founded in 2007 and located on the Silverdao Trail along the eastern Napa Valley floor on the grounds of a historic equestrian center, the suitably named Black Stallion Winery is another recent addition to the collection of wineries in the Oak Knoll District down at the bottom of Napa Valley. The old equestrian center's indoor track now houses the winemaking production facilities with remnants of the original 36 horse stalls still visible today.

The winery was purchased in May 2010 by the Indelicato Family, well known family-owned wine producers spanning three generations and more than 85 years of grape growing and wine making in the region. The family is now involved in all aspects of Black Stallion and their participation is evident both in the wines and the “family feel” of the winery.

Each of the varietals produced is handcrafted and blended from small vineyard lots. Each lot is fermented and aged separately until just prior to bottling when the lots are blended together to achieve wines of balance but layers of complex flavors. Black Stallion Winery strives for high quality wines that are elegant and distinctive yet approachable. This is a big league Napa Cab at an affordable price rendering a great QPR (quality price ratio).

The 2010 release is dark purple colored, full bodied with full forward aromas and flavors of  predominate cherry and black cherry fruits turning to blackberry and black raspberry with hints of cassis, mocha and spice followed by a mouth feel of fine grain tannins.
 The blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Petite Sirah, and 2% Cabernet Franc.
Alcohol by volume: 14.5%
RM 90 points.

Pahlmeyer Jayson Red Wine 2009

This is one of my perennial favorites offering a consistently great value from top drawer Napa Valley producer Jayson Pahlmeyer's rendition of a Bordeaux blend offering.

Dark purple and garnet colored - full bodied - smooth and polished but dense tongue coating silky texture with full forward black currant and black berry fruit flavors highlighted by cassis and spicy oak with hints of cedar, tobacco, tea and leather turning to a long lingering silky smooth well integrated tannins.

Blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec.

RM 91 points.