Saturday, April 2, 2016

Elan Napa Cabernet 1997

Elan Vineyards Atlas Peak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

For mid-week dinner of Italian beef and roasted potatoes, I pulled from the cellar this mature Napa Cabernet from Elan Vineyards. It was a perfect accompaniment and tasted even better the following evening.

We first met Elan winemaker/producer Richard and lovely wife-partner Linda Elliott-Smith back in the mid-nineties when we tasted their earliest releases of this wine.

They gained notoriety when Wine Spectator acclaimed Elan Vineyards as one of the "Undiscovered dozen,  new names in Cabernet to try before they are too hot!". Several of those featured producers' remain the mainstay of our cellar today including Elan, Robert Craig, Del Dotto, and Clark Claudon.

I don't remember what I don't remember, but I seem to recall that we met at Monticello Cellars which they were using as their crush facility. We became fans of their Napa Cabs then and collected them whenever and wherever we could find them. We still hold more than a mixed case of their wine back to that era plus running up to vintages post milenium which we've been able to pick up at auctions.

We hold a vertical of this label dating back to their '92 vintage which I believe was their inaugural release, in addition to several from '94 through '97 and then 2001, and beyond. Hence, its gratifying to see this aging and holding well, with only the beginning slight signs of diminution from aging.

This was dark garnet colored, medium bodied, complex, firm tight structure of black berry and black cherry fruits, tones of what prettydeceextrap of Cellartracker succinctly refers to as dried meat and soy; I was leaning towards spice, mineral and hints of creosote and anise but the other references are apt, with a smooth moderate tannin finish.
RM 89 points