Wednesday, July 16, 2008

V. Sattui Preston Vineyard Cabernet

V. Sattui Winery
Preston Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon
St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
$45.00 -- V. Sattui Winery, St. Helena, CA

Color: Deep ruby
Nose: Blackberry, shrimp creole, eucalyptus
Body: Full
Front: Dried cherries
Middle: Tannins
Back: Graphite and wood
Burns clean?: More or less
Cap: Cork

This wine has won more prizes than Annika Sorenstam. It's darker than Tim Burton's imagination. It's richer than shrimp creole. It's tastier than chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. And it's better for you than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cliff Lede Claret

Cliff Lede Vineyards
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot
Stag's Leap District
Yountville, Napa Valley, California
$35.00 -- Rum Runner, Tucson, AZ

Color: Beautiful deep garnet
Nose: Rich berries, damp leather, maybe a little bay
Body: Medium
Front: Cedar and spice
Middle: Blueberries, licorice
Back: Apricot, dust
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

This is a complex, evolutionary wine. It got really stellar after decanting and sitting for about an hour. Early on there's some heat, then right before it got good there was a little celeriac hint. But I think it'd pair well with stew, with its dusty but not overpowering tannins.

NB: For the uninitiated (as I learned by saying it incorrectly), I believe it's pronounced "Cliff Lady."