Friday, May 22, 2020

Craig Mt Veeder and Lede Sauv Blanc for Surf and Turf Dinner

Robert Craig Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon and Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc for Surf and Turf Dinner

For a special celebration dinner at home, Linda prepared beef tenderloin and lobster tails with baked potatoes, salad, hothouse tomatoes and artisan cheeses. I pulled from the cellar two perennial favorite labels to accompany the dinner - Robert Craig Mt Veeder Cabernet and Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc.

I've written often in these pages about our collection of Robert Craig wines dating back three decades across the portfolio of labels, and this being Robert's favorite selection. Tonight, for our celebration dinner, I pulled a twenty year old 2000 vintage release.

To accompany the cheeses and salad, as well as the lobster tail, I opened Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc 2016. We served two of my favorite cheeses, Old Amsterdam Gouda and Gorgonzola.

Cliff Lede Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2016

This is a mainstay label we keep on hand for such occasions. This is the last of our 2016 vintage collection so we'll move to the 2017 release next time we select this label.

Our visits to the Lede Winery estate in Stags Leap District Napa Valley been a highlight of many of those trips.

Straw colored, light bodied, aromas of floral and apricot and flavors of peach predominate with tones of lychee, pear, apple, citrus and hints of lime with a crisp clean sharp tangy finish.

RM 90 

Earlier tasting ...

Robert Craig Napa Valley Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 

My Cellartracker records indicate that we have close to four cases of just label spread across a dozen and half vintages dating back to the inaugural release in the mid-nineties. 

Our last tasting of this label was four 1/2 years ago when I wrote, "Showing amazing resilience and vibrancy in its seventeenth year, this is what this wine is supposed to taste like, with all the essential characteristics of a Mt.Veeder appellation Cabernet – dense, generous black fruit integrated with fine, sinewy tangy tannins."

Tonight, while the label was a bit soiled from the cellar, the foil and cork were perfect and the cork came out effortlessly, intact and in perfect form using an ahso two pronged cork puller.

When we lasted tasted this vintage release and posted a tasting note on 12/11/2016, I wrote: "Expansive aromas of bright dark berry fruit emanated from the glass. Dark garnet colored, medium-full bodied, bright forward ripe black currant fruit tones accented by black raspberry and black berry, spicy oak and anise. The finish features a solid core of black fruit that lengthens and combines with smooth mocha, cedar and cassis for a plush, long-lived finish." 

Tonight's tasting was consistent with that last experience and I note that I did not notice any diminution from aging at twenty years of age, a testament to Napa Valley Mt Veeder Cabernet and quality craftmanship.  I repeat my rating of 91 points that I gave it last time. 

Blend: 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc