This month I had the pleasure of tasting a variety of stunning wines from the St. Helena Appellation in Napa Valley that really display a delicious sense of place. This is just a sampling of my favorites:
Charnu Winery 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon: The provocative earth and berry scents that fill the nose are a perfect gateway for the ripe berry, cassis and black cherry flavors that explode brightly on the palate. Spice and well integrated oak notes add depth through the long finish.
Corison Winery 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon: Heady tobacco and black currant aromas fill the senses fully and gain momentum on the palate with layers of cherry, leather and spicy oak kicking in on mid palate. This stylish and complex Cab finishes powerfully with beautifully structured tannins; lay this one down, if you have the patience to wait.
Flora Springs 2008 Rennie Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: Fragrant aromas of cherry and vanilla really strike a chord and remain persistent with tobacco, blueberry and anise spice filling the palate generously. Rich and balanced with good depth and a solid backbone of tannins that suggest good aging potential.
Trinchero Napa Valley 2007 Cabernet Franc: Forward aromas of black cherry, roasted green bell pepper and herbs accent the bursting juicy cherries and spicy pepper notes at the core. This artfully balanced Cab Franc boasts a firm structure and satiny smooth texture, finishing with a touch of sweet oak and a pretty lingering finish.
Charles Krug 2008 Limited Release Zinfandel: Take one whiff and you’ll be sold on the pure goodness in the glass of this rendition of America’s sweetheart grape. Succulent berry and aromatic spice are equal partners in this Napa Valley Zin that really hits the mark with its ripe, yet not overripe, supple fruit.
Robert Biale 2008 Thomann Station Petite Sirah: A tantalizing monster of a petite! The bowl full of crushed blackberry, wild berry and Bing cherry flavors taking center stage are surrounded enticingly with vanilla bean, cinnamon and nutmeg spices. The copious fruit and acidity are very well in balance, and the huge structure with tannins galore suggests long term aging.
Chase Cellars 2007 Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel: Mouthwatering cherry and ripe wild berry aromas scream Zin, and expand gloriously on the palate with generous layers of fresh coconut, juicy red and black berries, a hint of vanilla and pepper spice interweaving deliciously. Intense and richly flavorful with a beautiful purity of fruit.
Egelhoff 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon: An aromatic blend of black cherry, cassis and wild berries with hints of leather fills the senses and remained focused with dried spice and a touch of graphite joining in on the mouth filling mid palate. Richly textured and complex with firmly structured tannins and great length on the finish.
Revana Family Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon: The decadent aromas of mixed berries and a splash of balsamic are intoxicating. A dense concentration of juicy blackberries and red currant meld splendidly with brown spice and well integrated oak, coating the mouth deliciously. Polished and well built with a smooth, silky mouth feel and a great tannic backbone suggesting long term aging potential. Finishes long and memorably.