When Beth and Bill (joining later just off the late flight from LHR) joined us for dinner with sister Jan visiting from California, we pulled from the cellar a selection of Napa Mt Veeder wines to replay our wine tour there together. This was one of our numerous Napa trips where we focused on but one appellation and its wines to gain appreciation for the nuances of all the elements that represent that appellation and its distinctive terroir. Moreover, sticking to one appellation simplifies logistics and scheduling. This is especially useful or beneficial on Mt Veeder which is the largest and most geographically spread of all Napa appellations.
Our Napa Valley Mt Veeder appellation trip with Bill and Beth and Jan and Bill featured visits to producers Godspeed, Yates and Rubissow, among others, so for our reunion gathering we selected those producers' wines to reminisce the trip. We tasted Yates Fleur de Veeder Merlot and Cheval 2007, Rubissow Merlot 2006, and Godspeed Trinity 2006. These were accompaniment to our dinner of grilled sirloin, sweet corn, fresh bruschetta and a medley of chocolates.
Yates Family Vineyards Mt Veeder Fleur de Veeder Merlot 2007
We opened the dinner wine flight with this Merlot from Yates Family Vineyards which was also the first stop on our 2011 Napa Valley Mt Veeder weekend. What a nice surprise. This was dark inky purple colored and full bodied with full, forward, flavorful rich fruit of black raspberry, a layer of spice and dark mocha with a hint of cassis on a big long lingering finish. In a blind tasting this might have passed as a big Aussie shiraz!. What an opening! In retrospect we should've opened this last or next to last as it overpowered and overshadowed the wines to follow.
RM 90 points.
Godspeed Vineyards Napa Valley Trinity 2006
We tasted this wine during our visit to Godspeed on our Mt Veeder Appellation trip. This is listed in CellarTracker as a Bordeaux Blend but Trinity is a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (42%), Shiraz (33%) and Malbec (25%). I am not aware of this combination blend from any wine producing region around the world. The 'old world' wine producers have been doing this for hundreds of years while the 'new world' producers in the emerging wine countries have been doing this for decades. Over five centuries, Bordeaux (producers) have become masterful at blending a primary varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) and then complementing it with lesser amounts of other varietals to add breadth (Merlot), depth (Cabernet Franc), color and structure (Petiti Verdot) to the final blend. The result is a symphony of flavors that round out the wine. I don't see this becoming a popular blend of these three otherwise primary varietals listed above that typically are stand-alone or anchor varietals. Rather than being complementary and harmonious to each other, I sense they're competing to be the 'lead' or predominant varietal in this blend.
This was medium to full bodied, moderately complex from black berry and black cherry fruit flavors that give way to a layer of cassis, tobacco leaf and charcoal on a moderate tannin finish.
Linda likes big bold full throttle wines and she liked this. I couldn't get my arms around it.
RM 88 points.
Rubissow Mt Veeder Merlot 2006
We tasted and procured this wine at Rubissow high atop Mt Veeder during our Mt Veeder Appellation tour. My recollection of this wine was the profile of the Yates Fleur de Veeder that we tasted next to this as reviewed above - full bodied with rich extracted fruit. Tonight this was leaner and lighter than I remembered and hence expected. I am looking ahead to trying this again as we still have a half case in the cellar.
Tonight this showed dark garnet purple color, medium body with black berry fruits, slightly tart black cherry with a hints of spice, tobacco, touch of mocha and coffee bean.
RM 87 points.
Yates Family Vineyards Cheval Mt Veeder Cabernet Franc 2007
Another Yates selection that we tasted and obtained during our visit to the Yates Winery and Vineyards high atop Mt Veeder. This is 100% Cabernet Franc which in Bordeaux is used in the blend to add breadth and depth with its spicy tones. Standalone as a single varietal bottling this is very pleasant drinking.
Full bodied - forward black berry, black raspberry and spicy clove with a hint of cassis and bitter dark chocolate with a lingering tannin flavorful finish.
RM 90 points.