Bob Mullen's winery manages several small Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards scattered around the township of Woodside. The most famous is of course the La Questa vineyard, established by Emmett Rixford over a century ago but now down to barely one non-contiguous acre of vines. The rest of the fruit goes in to one of two blends; the structured Estate Cabernet and the more fruit-forward King's Mountain.
In 2006 yields were way down; at around 250 cases that's almost half that of the 2005 vintage. As a result there was only enough wine available to supply wine club members and restaurant contracts, not for general retail.
I opened my sole bottle at the weekend. On the nose there was a lot of barnyard, brambles and mint. At first I thought the barnyard was "brett", but it diminished with time in the glass. On the palate it was very earthy and structured; there was fruit but it was hidden under the tannin, acid and earth. I decided to leave the rest of the bottle until the following day.
As it happened, I didn't get chance to revisit it for about 3 days, by which time it had changed significantly. The barnyard element had faded into more of a forest floor; the mint was still present but the blackcurrant fruit stood out, both on the nose and on the palate. The tannins had softened, though it still showed good acidity.
Unfortunately, as I said before, if you aren't in the wine club then the only place you're likely to find this wine is on restaurant wine lists, which means it's unlikely to get the time in the cellar or decanter that it so desperately needs. Order it at lunchtime, have them decant it and come back for dinner or even the day after. 91 $25