|Beth &Bill and new wine 'cellar'|
For a comparison tasting challenge, Bill presented two bottles, one in a classic brown paper bag for a tasting test. The first bottle glass was from an old favorite standby of our tastings, Freemark Abbey Sycamore Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2003 vintage. The other wine presented blind provided an interesting comparison challenge.
Freemark Abbey Sycamore Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Dark garnet colored, medium bodied with a slight coloration on the miniscus rim, forward, bright, expressive black cherry fruits that showed some sign of age as the fruit highlights were beginning to fall off a bit, accented by a layer of non-fruit flavors, nutmeg spice with hints of tobacco leaf, leather and subtle notes of dark mocha with gripping but approachable tannins on the lingering finish.
Here are Bill's Cellartracker notes for this wine for this evening; " Garnet color with a ruby rim. Fruit forward with black raspberry, cherry and a hint of nutmeg on the palate. Full bodied and mature but still evidence of some grippy tannins still remain. This is a terrific example of a mature Cabernet at the peak of its drinking window."
WCC's rating 92-93 points.
REM rating for this evening, 90 points.
With the Sycamore serving as a benchmark the second wine showed more signs of diminution of fruit from aging indicative first by slight bricking on the rim, dark blackish garnet color and a slight brownish hue. This wine lacked the complexity, structure and backbone of the Sycamore, its black berry fruits were starting to fall off, turning slightly raisiny with tones of non-fruit flavors of leather and tobacco, and a moderate layer of tannins on the earthy finish.
Bill's Cellartracker notes from this evening: "Would have given 2 more points if this had not been trending down hill. Still a fascinating taste. Medium garnet color with a bit of brick at the rim. Nose a bit musty. Nutmeg, raisin, cassis and as Eric noted, a bit of orange peel the n the palate... not sweet but similar to bitters. Still a delightful and interesting taste."
WCC rating - 89 points.
REM rating - 88 points.
A fun, interesting tasting, indeed. Thanks for sharing and comparing, Bill.
As a transition, served with the pre-dinner hor d'oervres, shrimp and artisan cheeses, Bill served the Perrier Jouet Grand Brut Champagne shown above.