Monday, May 6, 2024

Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet with flank steak

Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet with grilled flank steak 

Wife Linda had several lady friends over for a cookout to visit with a friend returning from Florida having relocated there. She prepared flank steak and salmon with grilled vegetables. I set out a Sonoma Chardonnay for the ladies, then I dined separately and snuck a plate and opened a Napa Cabernet for my dinner wine pairing.  

Mount Veeder Winery Napa Valley Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 

This is from Mount Veeder Winery, named for the site of their estate and vineyards sitting at 1000 to 1600 feet elevation, high in the Mayacamas Mountains at the southern end of the range at the southwest corner of Napa Valley.

Owners and producers Michael and Arlene Bernstein were the first to plant grapevines on Mount Veeder in 1970. Encouraged by their friend and Napa legend Robert Mondavi, the Bernsteins established the first winery on Mount Veeder.

Back before the Mount Veeder AVA was established they were the first vintners in Napa Valley to plant Petit Verdot, and the first to plant all five of the classic Bordeaux varietals on the same property.

Mount Veeder Winery has three vineyard ranches and vineyards high up the Mayacamas Mountain where they produce powerful concentrated flavorful wines that express the mountain terroir. The mountain terroir microclimate is above the fog bank, exposed to the soft morning sun and protected from the afternoon heat by the surrounding mountains, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. Late in the autumn growing season, the mountain's cool days and warm nights mean extra hang time.

Mount Veeder Winery Winemaker is John Giannini learned his craft over 15 years collaborating on several 100-point bottlings working under the tutelage of renowned winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.

 My CellarTracker records show that this is the last bottle of a six pack I bought upon release nearly a dozen years ago. This is the estate label, from a long time producer, entry level priced for offering good QPR - quality price ratio, for a Napa Cabernet. They also produce some ultra-premium labels including one with fruit from the famous legendary ToKalon Vineyard. 

At a dozen years of age, the fill level, foil, label and most importantly the cork were all in pristine condition, This wine is probably at the apex of its drinking profile, and won’t improve with further aging. It is most likely entering the end of its drinking window and will start diminishing from age going forward, but still has a couple years left of acceptable drinking. Wine Enthusiast advised to hold it till 2015 or 2016, but not beyond that. Robert Parker advised to hold it for a decade, or more. Wine Spectator advised to drink it through 2022. 

This is the estate label, from a long time producer, budget priced for basic every day consumption, offering good QPR - quality price ratio, for a Napa Cabernet. 

This release is a Bordeaux (varietals) blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and a small amount of Petit Verdot and Malbec.

This release was awarded 90 points by Wine & Spirits and Wine Advocate who also tagged it a ‘Cellar Selection’.

Tonight’s tasting was largely consistent with my posting back in 2013 when I wrote, “I like this wine”, and gave it 90 Points - “This is a complex wine that changed its focus and revealed itself differently from initial opening to an hour later and moreso the next day. Its bold but lacks smoothness or polish. Deep, dark inky purple and garnet colored, medium-full bodied. An initial layer of intense slightly tart black cherry and ripe black currant fruits give way to full forward flavors of ripe plum with hints of caramel and with tones of anise and mocha. The lingering finish boasts vibrant complex layers of sweet oak, and tobacco with a touch of black olive on a firm tannin backbone.” 

Ten years later, the fruit was a bit more subdued giving way to black tea, pepper and cedar notes. 

RM 89 points.