Saturday, August 2, 2014

Napanook and Caymus Napa Reds Anchor Family Reunion Dinner

Overachieving Napanook and Caymus Napa Reds Anchor Family Reunion Dinner

For our gala family reunion dinner with sister Jan and girls visiting from SoCal, Ryan brought a Napanook and I opened the Caymus 40th Anniversary special bottling 2012 Napa Cab. Celebrating two anniversaries, a promotion, and transcontinental family reunion, we feasted on grilled pork chops, kabobs of chicken, strip steak, red peppers, onions and whole mushrooms. Side dishes included corn on the cob, baked beans and salads.

We started with a Bonomi Sparkling Wine. The only dark spot on the day was the absence of Bro-in-law Bill, laid up and unable to make the trip, and son Alec, remote, out in NYC.

Dominus Napanook Napa Valley Red Wine 2010

The second wine of the ultra premium Dominus Estate by Christian Moueix, this might pass as a 'poor man's Dominus', as this was complex and refined in the Dominus style. Yet, it is more approachable at this age than the classic long lived Napa Bordeaux (varietal) Blend, and was more polished, sophisticated and elegant than my earlier experiences with this wine. This is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot.

James Suckling said this is 'one of the best Napanooks ever', a sentiment that echo's my view as well. Not surprising since the 2010 Dominus flagship received a blockbuster perfect 100 points from Robert Parker. This may be turn out to be an extraordinary high QPR (quality price ratio) cellar selection. I've purchased the 2010 Dominus as a signature collectable for my first grandchild, Lucy, in the tradition of collecting special birth-year wines for my offspring (as featured in my Wine Spectator interview).

I've written here about drinking twenty-five plus year old Dominus and exclaiming, "Oh, that's what its supposed to taste like!", after already having consumed a half dozen bottles or more from the case over the previous decades and realizing I had drunk them too early. One of our more memorable tasting experiences was a Dominus vertical tasting with the producer at Binny's Catacombs Clark Street tasting room one wintry December night back in 2005.  

Bright ruby colored, full bodied, forward expressive, complex blackberry, currant and black cherry fruits with layers of mocha, spice, and hints of licorice, tobacco leaf, herbs and tea. its well-integrated tannins on a long smooth moderately firm finish promises many years of enjoyment and evolution to come.

RM 92 points.

Caymus Vineyards Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 

As featured in my recent earlier blog journal tasting reports on this wine, this is the 40th release of this legendary label and it features a special 40th Anniversary release label for the occasion. The 2012 vintage release also  shows the classic characteristics of Caymus Estate Cabernet at its best - early approachability and drinkability as a young wine.

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.