Gems in My Glass . . . December 2009

Tasting Notes

Here we are at the end of 2009, and in my glass this holiday month were some nice surprises and handsomely aged gems to tout about, including:

2004 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir, Carneros:  A gorgeous melding of raspberry, cherry and earthy tones which capture the terroir of Carneros perfectly.   The nose captivates with enticing cherry and spice aromas, followed by exotic spices and hints of coffee bean that thread through the delicious fruit on mid palate, extremely elegant, well balanced and polished.

Domenico 2005 Miscela Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley:  Miscela (Italian for “blend”) is a delightfully well crafted, approachable wine made from the five primary Bordeaux varieties (85% Cabernet Sauvignon 6% Merlot, 4.5% Petite Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec).  It opens with pleasing aromas of ripe berries infused with coconut, that lead to a succulent mouthful of dark berries and cassis laced with pipe spices and a subtle hint of oak.

Lavender Ridge 2003 Carignan, Sierra Foothills:  Fifteen years old and this beauty still shows impeccable balance with juicy fruit and zippy acidity.  Red and black berry fruits and dried currants with notes of liqueur drenched fruit cake dominate the palate, with a dash of spice on the lasting finish.

Dehlinger 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon, Russian River Valley:   A bouquet of berries with a touch of dusty earthiness fill the nose, and time has not diminished the provocative dark fruit at the core.   Soft and smooth with the berry and currant flavors framed by notes of mushroom, truffle and well integrated oak. 

Silver Oak 1996 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon:   Rich fruit wafts from the glass, screaming Napa Valley fruit!  Dark berry and cassis with a generous sprinkling of brown spice on the nose persist through the richly textured, velvety palate.  Silky tannins with toasty oak sitting pretty in the background.

Paraduxx 2005 Napa Valley:  This stylish blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cab Franc aged in American and French Oak displays lush fruity aromas, and from the very first sip a burst of  juicy blackberries, blueberries and plums intoxicate the palate and intertwine delectably with chocolate, a trace of coconut and subtle hints of toast; yummy finish, too.

Santerra 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon:  Crafted from 71% Sonoma fruit and 29% Napa fruit, this Cab has held nicely through the years.  With an ever-so-slight amber meniscus, the nose offers sweet dried fruit and cigar box notes that remain pleasing and focused through the smoothly textured palate to the clean, satisfying finish.