For our gala family Christmas dinner, Linda prepared surf and turf - beef tenderloin and lobster tails. I pulled from the cellar two 1997 Napa Cabernets - a magnum of Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and a Del Dotto Vineyards Cabernet Franc. For the lobster course I pulled a David Arthur Napa Valley Chardonnay and a John Anthony Sauvignon Blanc.
John Anthony Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Tony Truchard practiced medicine in Reno, Nevada before moving his family to Napa Valley where he purchased and developed 180 acres of property in the Carneros region. His sons John Anthony and Michael learned the business from the ground up working the vineyards. Today they own and operate the John Anthony brand sourcing fruit from vineyards they developed on leased land. Their wines feature small vineyard sites from the Oak Knoll District, Carneros and Coombsville regions of Napa.
This Sauvignon Blanc was a great starter with the shrimp cocktail and artisan cheese and meats course leading to the lobster course. This is butter/straw colored, light bodied, crisp balance of fruits and acidity - aromas and flavors of ripe green apples, ripe melon and hints of zesty citrus with a slight layer of smoke on the opening.
RM 89 points.
David Arthur Napa Valley Chardonnay 2012
We visited the David Arthur estate Vineyards and Winery high atop Atlas Peak during our Napa Wine Experience in 2013. While known for Napa Cabernets, they also produce this Chardonnay, another wine sourced from Napa growers from vineyards. This wine presents a big bold Napa style. The Chardonnay fruit is sourced from from independent growers' sites in the Oak Knoll District and Stagecoach Vineyard in Napa Valley.
A great complement to the lobster medallions in drawn butter, light pale straw color with greenish hues, full bodied with crisp acidity and buttery full firm flavors of apple, pear, figs, and stone fruits with tones of pineapple, guava, and lightly toasted oak and minerality on a full firm long finish.
RM 90 points.
Pride Mountain Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
I wrote recently about the 1997 Napa vintage and how it is now coming of age. This Pride is likely at the peak of its drinking window.
Served from magnum. Blackish purple/garnet, full bodied, firm, tight, complex concentrated black berry and black currant fruits with tones of spice and cedar with hints of smoke, anise and mocha turning to a tangy gripping tannin finish.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
RM 92 points
94 points Wine Spectator
91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
92 points Wine Enthusiast
91 points Connoisseurs Guide
Del Dotto Napa Valley Cabernet Franc 1997
Tonight's tasting was more consistent with notes from a few years ago, dark ruby color, medium to full body, spicy black berry and black currant fruits are still vibrant in this nineteen year old, accented by tones of earthy leather, cedar and tobacco with hints of anise on the smooth tannin finish.