Thursday, March 22, 2012

Eighteen 2007 Cabernet Sauvignons

Last weekend a few of us got together to taste through as many of the local 2007 Cabernets as we could lay our hands on. The event was organised by Paul and Stef Romero of Stefania Wine, who were curious how their wines would stand up against similar wines from the region. The answer? Very well.

The wines were served in groups of three. Most of the people were not trying to take notes, so Wes Barton and myself soon found ourselves behind the rest of the group. As such the notes are somewhat brief, and are in the order the wines were poured. As far as I'm aware none of the wines were decanted or aired prior to pouring.

Our overall impression was that 2007 resulted in some very nice wines indeed. The group favourite was the
the Martin Ranch Dos Rios Vineyard, which was showing particularly well right now. Ridge Monte Bello and Mount Eden Estate did well as you might expect, despite being very young, and the Stefania Santa Cruz Mountains was just outside the top three.

2007 Mount Eden Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains
Nice complex nose - initially cassis, mint and smoke with some mushroom emerging. That mushroom and cassis showed up again on the palate, with drying tannins on the finish. Good depth, and lots of structure.

2007 Cooper Garrod George's Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
Nose was sweeter than #1, with sherbert and bramble.Fruity with bramble and boysenberry, plenty of tannin
eucalyptus coming out time.

2007 Chaine d'Or, Santa Cruz Mountains
Aromas of raw meat and dust.Tight, dry. grippy tannins - clearly needed air. Noticeable green pepper note, with some nice brambly fruit.

2007 Kathryn Kennedy 'Small Lot', Santa Cruz Mountains
Soft nose with nice black and red fruits. Smooth fruit - redcurrant and blackcurrant. I was thinking Saratoga or Santa Clara Valley.

2007 Ridge Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains
Bright berry nose - blackberry and blackcurrant. Lots of blackcurrant cordial, tannin and - particularly - oak. Way too young.

2007 Martin Ranch Thérèse Vineyards Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains
Very perfumed nose, sweet smooth fruit, drying tannins. (By this point I was way behind, so my notes started getting terser.)

2007 PM Staiger, Santa Cruz Mountains
Smoky, brambly nose. Smooth, sweet fruit. While enjoyable, this seemed the least complex of all the wines poured.

2007 La Honda Lonehawk Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
Hint of volatile actidity on the nose? Lots of bramble and blackcurrant fruit, and lots of chewy tannin. I was guessing the Kennedy Small Lot.

2007 Stefania, Santa Cruz Mountains
Interesting nose; for some reason it made me think of a toilet puck. Structured berry fruit and lots of mouth-coating tannin. Needs time, but should be great.

2007 Ahlgren Bates Ranch, Santa Cruz Mountains
Nose of barnyard and herbs, with the alcohol showing, but on the palate there was sweet redcurrant, turning oaky on the finish.

2007 Stefania Uvas Creek Vineyard, Santa Clara Valley
Earthy and ripe plum. Lots of sweet peppery blackcurrant fruit, tannin and earth.

2007 Woodside Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains
Nose dominated by smoky oak. Rather intense with hints of graphite and spice backed by smooth tannins.

2007 Thomas Fogarty, Santa Cruz Mountains
Nose showed smoked sausage. Smooth, sweet cassis; I wouldn't age this, it's good now. I think this was the least expensive wine in the lineup, having been found at Sunnyvale Costco for under $20.

2007 Domaine Eden, Santa Cruz Mountains
Elegant, feminine, light. There's smooth red fruit and bright acidity. I guessed Cooper Garrod, so was only a couple of miles out.

2007 House Family Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains
Nose is earthy and smoky. Seemed very tannic; there's some good black fruit there but it needs time.

2007 Ridge Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains
Rich nose showing caramel and eucalyptus. Light with some bright black fruits but decent structure.

2007 Martin Ranch Thérèse Vineyards Dos Rios Vineyard, Santa Clara Valley
Nose made me think of breakfast cereal. Lots of sweet caramel and black fruit, with nice chewy tannins. Quite the crowd pleaser.

2007 Creekview Vineyards, Santa Clara Valley
Nose of black fruit and eucalyptus; good intensity but very tannic at the moment.