Sunday, March 1, 2020

David Arthur Estate Cab Duo

Comparison tasting of David Arthur Estate Cabernet Sauvignons ~ 2000 vs. Three Acre 2009

Bill and Beth visiting for the weekend from Charleston to attend OTBN 2020 ~ Open That Bottle Night 2020, Bill brought from his cellar this David Arthur Cabernet. We trolled our cellar for a comparison tasting candidate and pulled another David Arthur Cabernet for the occasion. 

We visited the David Arthur estate together up on Pritchard Hill in the southern Vaca Mountain Range sitting at about 1000 feet overlooking the Silverado Trail of Napa Valley during our Napa Valley Wine Experience in 2013The reason the elevation is so noted is that their flagship label is called Elevation 1147 for the exact height of their super premium offering source.

That visit offered us the opportunity to experience (and acquire) the then latest vintage releases of the then new Three Acre single vineyard designated label of Estate bottled Cabernet Sauvignon from the so-named vineyard on the property.

Today's tasting provided an interesting and fun comparison side-by-side of the David Arthur Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, and the David Arthur Three Acre Napa Cabernet 2009. These are the joys of owning a cellar and sharing selections with a fellow oenophile or wine geek.

David Arthur have 21 acres of vineyards planted on their Pritchard Hill estate. 

David Arthur Three Acre Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

My report from the tasting of this label release during our visit to the Estate back in 2013. 

"Three Acre is (was) a new label from David Arthur to expand the brand offering with further differentiation of the available fruits. This Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from three distinctive estate vineyard blocks, composed primarily of Cabernet Clone 337 noted for outstanding fruit character and bold tannins. 

This is a blend of 93 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7 percent Petite Verdot, this was aged in 85 percent new French oak barrels for 23 months. Only 338 cases were produced."

My tasting note from that visit. 

"Deep garnet colored, medium-full bodied, it presents blackberry, black raspberry, a layer of black cherry, and cassis with hints of flora, olive tapenade, spicy toasted oak, tones of toffee, maple, tea, tobacco and cedar turning to fine grained tannins on the finish." 

RM 93 points. 

Bill's Cellartracker tasting note from tonight's tasting: "Tasted this side by side with a 2000 David Arthur Cabernet (provided by fellow Pour Boy Rick) intriguing comparison which once again points out how neighboring plots of vines can produce distinctly different style wines. The ‘09 3 Acre was brighter and more fruit forward compared to the earthier, more brooding style of the ‘00 Cabernet. The 3 Acre was medium indigo in color. It revealed flavors of dark cherry, jammy blackberry and raspberry, a bit of tea and grippy tannins. While the 3 Acre is certainly full bodied, it becomes lighter next to the ‘00. Still an outstanding bottle."

WCC 90 points.

David Arthur Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

According to my Cellartracker records, I hold a decade of releases of this label dating back to 1998. Normally, when tasting such a wine, I'll drink the oldest vintage first as part of cellar investment and inventory management practices, except in cases where aging profiles dictate certain longer lived vintages be held opposed to some younger ones with shorter drinking windows.

We didn't see a '98 which I would've chosen, so I opted for the next oldest vintage. I need to go see if my records are wrong or if that bottle is hiding elsewhere in the cellar.

While these are two different labels, they are no doubt sourced from fruit from the same vineyards, albeit the Three Acre was more selectively chosen from but three blocks.

I found the 2000 to be less polished, less complex and slightly narrower or one dimensional in the tasting profile compared to the Three Acre.

This would be explained by the blend of 7% Petit Verdot in the Three Acre, and perhaps the more complex barrel aging. It could also be attributed to variations in the vintages harvest. Lastly, it could also be attributed to age as the fruits from the older twenty year old release start to fall off. This was my first tasting of this label vintage so I have no other experiences of notes against which to compare.

Dark garnet colored, medium-full bodied, bright lively forward blackberry and black currant fruits with subtle tones of tea and hints of cassis and leather on the tangy lively acidic finish.

RM 90 points.