Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hall and Keenan Napa Cabernet Duo - Haan Prestige Shiraz

Hall and Keenan Napa Cabernet Duo - Haan Prestige Barossa Shiraz

Three big reds compliment steak dinner at favorite local bistro

For a hearty dinner with friends Gayle and Mark at Angelis Italian, our favorite local bistro we tasted two big Napa Cabernets against a vintage Australian Shiraz - Hall 2006 and Keenan 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, and Haan Prestige Barossa Shiraz 2003. We recently visited Hall Vineyards' magnificent Rutherford Estate during our Napa Valley Wine Experience 2013 so I wanted to revisit  one of my personally highest rated Hall Cabernets that we're holding in our cellar. The Keenan is currently available at Wine Discount Center so I wanted to taste it against a benchmark wine contemplating further purchases. In earlier tasting notes I likened it to a big juicy fruit forward Australian shiraz so a comparison tasting was in order.

Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

The Hall stood up to earlier accolades and indeed compared most favorably with the big bold Aussie Shiraz, and provided a comparison benchmark to stand up aside the Keenan.

From my earlier notes, the Hall presented "Dark inky color, rich, dense, concentrated, style, full-bodied, fruit forward ripe sweet currant, ripe black raspberry, plum, black cherry fruits, mocha and hints of black licorice with a long soft tannin finish.Has the rich thick jammy fruit of a south Australian Shiraz."  I would emphasize big, full, concentrated fruits with a firm tannic backbone. In this evening's tasting it met my highest expectations and stood over the Shiraz, the other Cab and was indeed a perfect complement to the New York strip steak dinner.

RM 93 points.

Keenan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Some of our favorite Napa Cabernets come from Spring Mountain District above the town of St Helena in the Mayacamas Range on the western slope of Napa Valley - Fantesca, Pride, Lail, and of course Paloma with their award winning Merlots. We visited Keenan Winery up on Spring Mountain during our Napa Wine Experience 2007.
We've had fun serving this wine with friend Jim Keenan.

Medium bodied, forward fruit flavors of blackberry and cherry, floral with a layer of licorice and hints of spice and coffee with moderate, soft tannins.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon - 73% from Spring Mountain, 27% from Pope Valley. 

RM 90 points.

Photo from our 2007 Keenan Vineyards visit high up Spring Mountain.

Keenan vineyard high up Spring Mountain

Haan Prestige Barossa Valley Shiraz 2003

The ladies preferred this more approachable wine with its full flavorful fruits to the firmer, tighter more structured and concentrated Cabernets.

Medium bodied, spicy, earthy leathery super ripe black berry fruit, touch of menthol, hint of vanilla on a long spice finish.

RM 89 points.