Thursday, October 23, 2008

Freemark Abbey Cabernet

Freemark Abbey
Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

$31.88 at Whole Foods, Austin, TX

Color: Dark red with a slight purple tinge
Nose: Loam, berry patch on a hot day
Body: Full
Front: Cherry
Middle: Kale, licorice, plums
Back: Cedar, a little cinnamon, tannins
Burns clean?: It would have, if I hadn't drunk almost the entire bottle
Cap: Cork

This is a delightful wine, and a good bargain, given its complexity. It's plenty tight on opening, so don't judge it right away. In fact, I would guess that more time in the cellar would be a good thing for this bottle. I like this blend, but must admit to being a big fan of Freemark Abbey's single-vineyard Sycamore Cabernet, which is a bit more like the Sattui Morisoli and the Faust Cabernets that I've reviewed earlier.

This is a French-style Cabernet; it's soft and complex, never quite ascends to fruitiness but gets brighter as it opens up. It's like reading a Balzac story; it has good characters, and it tangibly enjoys its own patient unfolding. I'm listening to Dave Brubeck as I drink it, and there's beautiful cross-media harmony happening.

Note: It's now two hours later, and I'm enjoying a final glass with a smidgen of chorizo (a classic KY-Latino dessert). It is a stunning combination; the wine gets almost chocolate-sundae-like in response, and the smokiness of the chorizo shines through the spices. More cross-media harmony, on a cool Texas night.