After a morning round of golf, Gerry and I joined Tom for a late lunch and some very nice wines back at Tom’s place.
1994 Quintessa Rutherford Napa Valley. The nose here is sweet, plush and velvety-smooth—with highly-appealing aromas of black currant, sweet plum, black cherry and fine background cedar notes. It’s drinking very well right now, showing solid structure and rounded but focused tannin in support of finely-knit flavors of black currant, blackberry, blueberry, iron ore and menthol. It’s muscled but pliant, and finishes quite pleasantly. I definitely enjoy this today, but could see holding it, as well.
2001 Quintessa Rutherford Napa Valley. The nose here is quite a bit brighter, with lifted scents of red and black berry fruit, mint leaf, suede and confectionary notes that are tight and vervy. However, it’s darker, denser, and fudgier than the ’94 on the palate, with tacky-textured tannins that are a bit aggressive just now, but tend to be overshadowed by the dense sweet chocolate, black currant and blackberry flavors that fill the mouth. It’s certainly an impressive specimen packed with a lot of filling, but I prefer drinking the considerably more approachable 1994 right now. Give this one a few more years or try it with a big steak or something.
1993 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve Napa Valley. This wine is nice and earthy on the nose, showing fine aromas of suede leather, dirt pile, red currants and cassis. In the mouth, there’s a nice mouthwatering quality to the sour cherry, mixed currant and savory earth flavors that fan out through the mid-palate. It’s more wholesome and old-fashioned than showy, and it has plenty of structure and extract for aging, but it’s very tasty all around right now.
2000 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley. This wine is dark, dense, layered and complex on the nose, with meaty but classy aromas of black currants, black licorice, earth and cedar unfolding from the glass. In the mouth, it’s densely-packed with dark fruit flavor, but fine acidity gives it ample life and energy to carry it along without issue. It’s a substantial wine all around, with a whole lot going on below the surface. I find it stuffed with all kinds of goodness, if still a bit young and packed tight. It tastes great and leaves an impression, that’s for sure.
2001 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Ovello. I think we all agreed that this bottle was a bit damaged, perhaps a bit cooked somewhere along the line. The nose has a roasted and raisiny quality to it, with baked cherry, date, caramel and balsamic aromas that aren’t very appealing. In the mouth, it again shows flavors of raisin, caramel, balsamic and soy to go with warm baked cherry fruit. It falls far short of expectations, and I have to believe this was not a representative bottle.