Wednesday, August 12, 2015

97 Napa Reds Highlight Steak Salmon Dinner

Tasty '97 Napa Reds Highlight Grilled Steak Salmon Dinner - 1997 Vertical Tasting

The plan was to attend the Wednesdays, Woods and Wine evening concert with friends Bill and Beth, part of the summer series at the Morton Arboretum where we've been members for decades. When we arrived the parking lots were overflowing to a remote lot with no transport to the venue. With lawn chairs and picnic dinner, it wasn't an option so we headed back home. The ever resourceful Linda pulled together an impromptu dinner of grilled steaks and salmon and we pulled from the cellar these tasty reds.

David Arthur Napa Valley Meritaggio 1997

Our tasting at the David Arthur winery overlooking Napa Valley was a highlight of our Napa Valley Wine Experience in 2013.

This was nice tasty easy sipping starter on the deck pre-dinner. CT says I still have six bottles of the case we bought on release but I think this may the last bottle from the lot.

Consistent with previous tasting notes, this may be at its apex as its showing well - bright and expressive, such that I extended the CT posted drinking window from 2010 to 2016.

Deep dark ruby colored with tinge of purple, medium to full bodied, elegant, polished, smooth and delicious full forward sweet currant, plum and red berry fruits accented by subtle smoke layer turning to silky smooth tannins on a full long finish.

RM 93 points.

Constant Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

This was a mini tribute to producer Freddie Constant. Bill and I both received our release mailer from Constant this last week and noted the picture of team Constant, sans the departed Freddie who passed away since last harvest. We recalled the tasting we did with him at the spectacular winery high atop Diamond Mountain.

Like the Meritaggio above, this is also showing well at eighteen years, indicating the aging ability and length of the '97 vintage - patience being rewarded! I modified this drinking window too, from 2012 to 2016, as its still hitting its stride.

Dark blackish garnet colored, tightly wound concentrated core of black berry and black raspberry fruits with tones of tobacco, graphite, black tea and hints of leather and allspice on the firm but smooth tannin finish. This was a perfect complement to the grilled steaks.

RM 93 points.

After dinner with fresh baked shortbreads and assorted chocolates we opened this other smooth easy drinking sipper.

Spring Valley Vineyards Uriah Walla Walla Red Wine 2005 

Bill asked for a Merlot based blend and we found this. Back in 2009 I wrote that this definitely needs some time. Well, its time! This was delightful and a perfect fit for the after dinner cake and chocolates. At that time I wrote, "Definitely needs some time - decant and let breathe. A bit harsh up front with cedar and tar overpowering black currant and black berry fruits - turns to vanilla with creme brulee burnt sugar on the long firm tannin filled finish. Still approachable and enjoyable - just not as smooth as the '03 or the '06."

Well, this has softened and become much more approachable in the five years since.

Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, smooth polished forward aromatic black currant and black berry fruits give way to hint of nicely integrated oak turning to tones of minerality, black cherry and dark mocha chocolate with hints of anise and tobacco.

RM 93 points.

Bordeaux varietal blend of 53% Merlot, 36% Cab franc, 8% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec.