Monday, August 28, 2017

Jayson Neiman Mini-Horizontal Tasting Flight

Jayson Neiman Mini-Horizontal Comparison Tasting Flight

Dear friends, 'brother' Bob and Gloria visiting from South Florida, Linda prepared grilled tenderloin steaks and roasted potatoes and asparagus spears. I pulled from the cellar two special wines, Pahlmeyer Jayson Napa Valley 2004 and an accompanying horizontal Neiman Cellars Napa Valley Red Blend.

We often serve Jayson label wine with Bob and Gloria in tribute to their oldest namesake son. This afforded the opportunity for a mini-horizontal comparison tasting of two similar wines, each with distinctive terroir and styles. Indeed, the last time we served this wine was with Bob and Gloria during our 'last supper' together on the eve of them moving to Florida last winter.

This was an interesting comparison of two wines where the Pahlmeyer overshadowed the Neiman by a fairly wide margin. I am not sure the disparity would have been as apparent if they weren't tasted side by side. Too bad for the Neiman, which against the Jayson, didn't live up to my recollections or expectations.

Pahlmayer Jayson Red Wine 2004

The Cellartracker tasting window lists the wine tasting window for this wine through 2013. While we often tend to hold and drink our wines long into or even past their tasting window, in this case, this wine seemed still be at its apex, while not likely to improve further with more age. I updated Cellartracker to 2018.

Like the previous tasting, "Upon opening, sweet floral and berry aromas burst forth and filled the room. Dark garnet purple colored, medium full bodied, bright vibrant full forward flavors of black raspberry with tones of blueberry, sweet currants, tangy spice and hints of sweet caramel and whisper of tobacco leaf with nicely integrated sweet tangy oak on the lingering finish."

RM 93 points.

This is Pahlmeyer's Right Bank Bordeaux style Blend (meaning predominantly Merlot over Cabernet Sauvignon) -  60% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. Perhaps the predominant Merlot in the mix attributed to the softer more approachable style.

Neiman Cellars Red Wine 2004

Similar to my earlier tasting notes, this tasted more like a Bordeaux than a Napa Red Blend, with slightly more subdued fruit with more non-fruit accents such as leather, cedar and tobacco. As written earlier, "This tasted like a vibrant expressive Bordeaux, full forward complex berry fruits accented by floral, leather, tobacco leaf, some slightly earthy tones and long lingering notes of cedar with a smooth polished tannin finish that resonates with silky floral cedar mouthfeel long after tasting."

Tonight I gave this 91 points, one less than the previous 'stand-alone' tasting, perhaps due to the positioning vis a vis the bigger,brighter, more robust and sweeter Jayson. Notably, this wine is 1/3 less expensive than the Pahlmeyer, thereby perhaps delivering equivalent QPR (quality price ratio).

RM 91 points.

According to the rear label, only 230 cases were produced of this release.

Constant Diamond Mountain Syrah 2006

 Constant Diamond Mountain Syrah 2006

During our recent visit to Diamond Creek Vineyards up on Diamond Mountain in northwestern Napa Valley, we reminisced about our trip up to the top of the mountain to visit Constant Winery and Vineyards and considered reaching out to them to arrange a follow up visit.

For a casual grilled steak dinner at home, I pulled this Constant Diamond Mountain Syrah in remembrance of our just completed trip and as a tribute to the departed producer Freddie Constant.

This was consistent with earlier tasting notes - The 2006 Constant exhibited dark inky purple color - medium-full bodied, nicely balanced and polished bright full flavors of blue and black fruits with a layer of ripe plum and sweet clove, hints of tea and cedar on the lingering finish.

RM 90 points.