Tasting Notes: Larry Meehan
Saturday Night Odd Year Cabernets
We weren't even done with the Ridges (at least I wasn't) when corks started flying out of the Cabs. I was done taking notes, but Larry stepped right in and took over without missing a beat.
1977 Beringer Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve: "Mature plum/prune." - Jeff Witzel (right) "Spicy cedar/ cassis; nice, mature but nothing special." - Larry, Alan and geo "Drying tannins; not a cocktail wine." - Bob G.
Brown Bag 1 (1995 Castello Banfi Excelsus): Barnyard nose; dust and blackfruit; drying tannins clamping down through the finish and hiding any complexity; Euro dirt (a compliment)/active acidity. All the makings of an excellent wine, but needs at least 3 more years 5 would be better. "Bordeaux style." - Sam "Tannic as hell." - Andy
Brown Bag 2 (1993 Ornellaia): Gamy/Brett; fairly rich black/blue fruit; bigger tannins than #1; lead pencil; rich earth ; sweet flavored tannins contrast with hard drying tannins; nice acidity. Re-taste two hours later: no Brett; more floral; smoothing out and more accessible. One of my faves of the night evolving toward a wine of great balance and character.
Scott Theide (L) and Andy Keillor
1993 Pahlmeyer (Cabernet blend), 1.5 L, 14.2% alc.: Restrained nose lots of apparent alcohol cassis/raspberry/rose petals/cotton candy; prodigious, tannins; hiding plenty though; under performing. "Under whelmed." - geo "Holy shit, is that bad!" - Mark H.
Cornerstone Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Beatty Ranch,
1.5 L: Slightly astringent nose; slightly gamy; sweet berry fruit; very
smooth and rich. As the night went on, I found this wine to get better
the nose was more expressive
still sweet and smooth,
but complemented well by the structure.
Etude Napa Cabernet Sauvignon:
Sweet cherry fruit; fine tannins; sweet on the attack; smooth mouthfeel;
"Huge mint." Larry and Mike L. "Some sweet maple under
the mint; IMO, a very well preserved '89. Well balanced, showing nice
bottle complexities -- pencil, cedar, leather. Quite interesting and
enjoyable. "Nose heading towards 'Listerine." - Mike L. "Not
impressed; did I try this too early?" - geo
Schweiger Cabernet Sauvignon:
Orange powdery stuff on the nose (pixie stix); lots going on in mouth;
mobile acids/blackfruit/anise/tar; touch of eucalyptus on finish with
nice length. Seems young and volatile -- revisit in a few years. "Orchids."
- Mike L.
1997 Vigil Meritage: Cinnamon/nutmeg/X-mas scents orange candy/sugar plum/sweet fruit cut short by the tannins; starts to lengthen on the palate later; but still quite tannic.
1991 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Knight's Valley: Earthy/lead pencil/ cedar/pepper on nose; smooth/wet/silky in mouth; black fruit/minty herb/earth/white pepper/tobacco; really quite interesting and good!!! Talk about "bang for your buck "
1995 Neyers Napa Cabernet Sauvignon: Wow, lots of alcohol on nose/ palate through finish; tough mix with some semi-searing acidity and rigid tannins; strawberry/cherry fruit reminiscent of cough syrup. Two hours later: knitting together, better composition .rich and jammy, but still a bit much for me. "Not offensive." Kristin Schimeck (with Jim, left).
Seven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon:12.5%
alc.: Sweet toasty oak; black fruit/tobacco/drying tannins
spice on finish
Saddleback Napa Cabernet Sauvignon:
13.5% alc.: Violets/alcohol/ syrupy black fruit; rich volatile palate.
Is it interesting or over the top? I'm leaning more toward interesting,
but it is close."Reminds
me of Zinfandel" - geo
Etude Napa Cabernet Sauvignon:
Violets and earth; a lovely dense perfume; Oreo cookie scents; black
fruit/bit of tar, but rich and smooth throughout; finishes with good
length and depth
lingering. This seems to be a wine of reasonable
balance with plenty of layers waiting to be found. For my tastes, one
of the better 97's I've tried.
© Gang of Pour February, 2001