Sunday, February 20, 2011

***+ $$ Warnke Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, 2004, Napa CA - Wine Review and Rating

Original Review, March, 2009: Warnke Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is a concoction of Gary Vaynerchuk, named after Brandon Warnke, one of WineLibrary's employees. It is made from grapes sourced in Napa Valley, CA, a site of typically higher-priced cabernet sauvignon offerings.

In the glass, Warnke Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is medium red, even across the glass. Aromas are solid and clean, a bit of inky black cherry coming through. On the palate, the mouth-puckering tannins are the first note, filling your mouth and knitting it all together, making you feel for a moment a bit like a prune-faced, toothless centenarian. The fruit is fairly hidden, but comes through faintly on the aftermath of the tannins, bringing a generally acidic blackberry. The finish is long, driven by the tannins, but fairly simple. It doesn't really draw you back for more. In effect, you know the wine is working hard, but without an impact equivalent to the effort.

I will give this two stars, but I will add a plus because methinks a bit of a decant (or a few more years of aging - this is already five years from vintage date!) may widen its appeal.

To be fair, I did give this a two-hour decant and saw enough fruit starting to poke out to just move it ahead to three stars out of five. Decent, but not awesome, value.

Updated Review, two years later, February, 2011:   Deep magenta in the glass, now traces of brick at the edge.  Yummy and smooth black cherry on the nose.  Now sweet blackberry comes through on the palate, with substantial, smooth tannins following closely behind.  A well-knit, deep, fruit-driven and balanced experience, now generating an additional plus on the Spirit of Wine scale,  based on its balance, and at ***+ becoming a good value. 

Find Warnke Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon at WineZap.

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