Saturday, January 2, 2010

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA, 2006 - Wine Tasting

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By way of background: I've enjoyed the 2004 Stag's Leap Artemis before; this is the 2006 vintage of the classic Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon. The 2006 vintage is finished at 13.8% alcohol. 

In the glass: Artemis shows as deep magenta purple, opaque to within about 3/4 inch of the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured without a decant, swirled vigorously and served cellar cool, this shows a classic California cabernet sauvignon nose:  black currant plus hay, sniffed deeply from the horse barn.  Yum!

On the palate: The first element is an oak-laced dry black currant tannic fruit which strikes the back of your tongue.  Rugged tannins draw that further back into your mouth, leaving it poised at your cheeks.  The acids recede in the face of the deep tannins, leaving this as an earthy, grainy sip.

And the finish: Because the tannins are bold, the flavors hang for quite a long time, despite only modest levels of alcohol.  The experience almost sweetens up as it fades.

In summary: Overall, an awesome and classic experience of California cabernet.  Definitely wants hours in the decanter or years in the bottle before resampling.  The tannins and fruit intensity suggest this waiting would be well rewarded.

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