Thursday, November 26, 2009

**** $$$ Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon, 2001, Napa, CA - Wine Review and Rating

Original Review Nov, 2006: This is the Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon vintage with grapes reputedly declassified from Harlan. Let's see what we have here...

Visually, deep brick red, moving to an opaque, black center. On the nose, inky oak draws you in, with the classical deep cabernet-style black cherry overtones. Somehow still fruity, with a very slight pencil lead edge. To the palate, a full, jarring, tarry tannin at first, opens up to a parch-dry, bold fruit. Holds to a lengthy, tenacious, grippy but somehow still fruity finish. Still could use to time to lengthen out - gonna let this one decant another couple hours...
Yes, four hours later, we've got a much sweeter tannin on the finish. This will just nudge me up to four stars.

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Updated Review Aug, 2007: Still deep medium red in color, quite dense. Right from the bottle, the nose shows a deep, fruity, pencil/lead/oak aroma. Reading my earlier notes, yes, I still detect that sliced black cherry aroma. On the palate, the first thing you notice is that the powerful, pleasant, tannic fruit positively attacks your tongue - a really wonderful assault if there ever was one. The acids and tannins slowly creep up the insides of your mouth, leaving a prickly finish that really does last. Four stars again, for sure.

For comparison, Robert Parker gave 89 points and said, “ The rumor surrounding this wine is that it is made from declassified lots of some cult Cabernet producers (one in particular), but since that cannot be proven, I will just comment on the wine. The color is a deep ruby, and the bouquet offers lovely scents of spice box, black currants, and cherries. There is good body, abundant fruit, a nice tactile impression, and a lush, heady finish with no hard edges. Undeniably a very fine value in Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, it will drink well for 3-4 years.”

Well, I can attest that 6 years from harvest date, it is still drinking nicely.
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Updated Review, November, 2009, three years from first tasting, eight years from harvest date.

Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon now shows as deep brick red and is opaque to within a half inch of the glass' edge.

Aromas are rich iron blood.

On the palate, you notice the tannins first, followed by a mostly-oxidized mid-red berry flavor. Acids are high.

Now this rates merely two stars on the Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its glorious past. Clearly, however, Waterstone Cabernet Sauvignon is not prepared to live its past for a full eight years. Drink within the six year window from harvest.

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