Sunday, March 15, 2009

Clone 191...Best for Last?

One of the most exciting things about wine for me is that it is a living thing, constantly changing (for both good and bad), different from the first sip to the last, from the first bottle to the final one in the case.

When I was choosing barrels for our Premier Cabernet Collection wines from the 2006 vintage, the Cabernet Sauvignon - Ghielmetti Vineyard, Clone 191 was my second or third favorite of the grouping. It had the best structure for long-term aging, but it was also slightly monolithic in its flavors and aromas at that time.

It is 18 months later, and we are now pouring this new wine in the Barrel Room. What was largely a tannic wine with dark (if undifferentiated) fruit, is now showing that same great, broadly tannic structure - especially from the mid-palate back - but with layers of fruit aromatics and flavors that are terrifically complex.

The dark fruit has become black cherry, cassis, and raspberry; the non-fruit aromatics are now tobacco, cedar and semi-sweet chocolate. This wine has become a very beautiful example of how good Cabernet from the Livermore Valley can be.

Only 192 three-packs were produced, and only 80 remain. Click here to order this wonderful wine before it is gone. $300/three-pack.

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