Sunday, February 5, 2012

Updated Review: ***+ $ Grayson Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, California, 2006 - BEST VALUE

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By way of background: Grayson Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is made from Paso Robles, California, grapes by negociant winemakers in American Canyon, Napa, CA. The 2006 vintage is finished at 13.7% alcohol.

Original Tasting and Review: February, 2010:

In the glass: Grayson Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon shows as dark magenta in the glass, opaque to within a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this American cabernet sauvignon brings a pungent, rich, ripe nose of blueberry pie filling and chocolate shavings.  

On the palate: The first element on the palate is a rich, though fairly sparkly and bright, thoroughly ripe milk-chocolate-covered blackberry.  A full, deep, alcohol-laden fruit carries across your tongue.  The flavors and alcohol provide most of the show, with acids and especially tannins hiding from view.

And the wrap-up: The finish is sadly short and mostly alcohol-driven.  You want this to last longer.  But, that said, the fade is clean and crisp.

In summary: Overall, a rich, fairly distinctive, full-bodied, luscious but fairly unidimensional experience. Rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, generating a best value nod.

Following a five-day decant under vacuum in a partially-filled bottle:  The aroma is a bit more like plum pie now, without the chocolate shavings.  A rich, ripe, blackberry-fruited middle still defines the mid-palate, but a distinctive rich, muddled red and black berry finish comes on strong.  Gets an added plus for that, with a thumbs-up for this additional decant time.

Updated review, two years later,   February, 2012:  Same color: dark magenta.  Still pure blueberry pie on the nose, without chocolate shavings now.  The palate brings the full complement of milk chocolate with the blueberries, plus a friendly accompanying tannin grip.  The finish shows a longer hold now, with less strong an alcohol blast.  Now at six years from vintage date, remains a best value.  Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Bright purple berries on the nose now.  The blueberries on the palate have picked up perky acids. 

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