For dearest friends, Eric and Cathy's 40th anniversary celebration party, I took two special bottles befitting the occasion. An obvious selection was the serendipitous release bottling of Caymus Vineyards' 40th Anniversary Release special label commemorating their 40th vintage release in 2014, of their 2012 vintage release Napa Valley Estate bottled Cabernet Sauvignon. For the occasion of several 40th anniversary events this year, I special ordered their special release 1 Liter release bottle. In addition, I took a bottle of Mollydooker whimsically named 'Enchanted Path' Mclaren Vale Red Wine Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, and as a point of comparison tasting, a bottle of Ninety Plus Cellars Lot 101: Collectors Series Columbia Valley, Washington, Syrah, 2009
Caymus Vineyards Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Typical Caymus Cab style - dark ruby/garnet colored, medium to full bodied, nicely structured, complex but smooth, well balanced and polished, it opens with sweet ripe blackberry and raspberry flavors highlighted by layers of milk chocolate, subtle tones of cinnamon, vanilla and hints of caramel, giving way to a smooth lingering modest tannin finish.
RM 94 points.
Mollydooker Enchanted Path McLaren Vale South Australia, Red Wine Blend 2012
Mollydooker is the handiwork of the husband-and-wife winemaking team of Sarah and Sparky Marquis. Prior to starting their own label the pair produced under the Marquis Philips brand in partnership with their distributor Dan Philips. Previously, they produced award-winning wines for Australian producers including Fox Creek, Henry’s Drive, Shirvington, and others. The term Mollydooker is Australian slang for a left-handed person as both Sarah and Sparky Marquis are left-handed.
Since 2005, they've focused exclusively on making their own exuberant wines which include a range of Shiraz labels and a variety of Shiraz/Cab/Merlot blends, as well as some adventuresome white wines such as The Violinist, a Verdelho varietal.
They source their fruit from 116 acres of vineyards at their winery in McLaren Vale where about 50 percent are planted in Shiraz, with the rest made up of Cabernet, Merlot, Semillon and Chardonnay. Most of their wines bear distinctive whimsical and humorous names and labels with cartoon characters. Never-the-less, many of their wines, while modestly-priced, Mollydookers are often highly rated. Their premium label, 'Velvet Glove' Shiraz retails for $175, however.
The 2012 Enchanted Path is dark inky purple colored, full bodied, rich thick concentrated and complex with varietal Cabernet notes of ripe black and blue berry and plum with clove, spice and layers of chocolate and anise, with supple creamy mouth-feel and chewy tannins on nicely polished balanced finish.
The 2012 Enchanted Path is a blend of 60% Shiraz and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.
RM 93 points.
Ninety Plus Cellars Lot 101: Collectors Series Columbia Valley, Washington, Syrah, 2009