Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$$$ Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard, Napa Valley, CA, 2005

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By way of background: 

Initial review : This is Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard, Napa Valley, CA, 2005, finished at 14.4% alcohol.

In the glass: Deep opaque burgundy, only showing light an eighth of an inch from the edge of the glass, where it is red/purple. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows bold and interesting depth in a red fruit frame.  There is mentholated black ink there, and an aroma that is somehow reminiscent of feet yet very pleasant. Also some raspberry rhubarb.  From the aroma, seems like this will be thick, deep, alcoholic and round.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact intensely tannic and acidic too. The fruit is hidden behind an intense crush of the bright crust.  The fruit that comes through is bright red currant.  Finish does linger nicely with the potent tannins, in a bright, acidic red frame, for almost a minute. 

In summary: Overall, as a pop-and-pour, rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its intense nature.  For me, it is so eye-poppingly acid in its style that that element overwhelms all other elements.  I will explore the nature of decanting on this wine, however, in part because I would not be able to drink very much of it otherwise.

Following long decant, four hours in decanter at room temperature:  Now the aroma is of dark caramel and cabernet sauvignon.  A bright, full and tannic sip now, fully integrated with fruit, tannins and vivid acids.  Jumps up a full star to three stars, with a plus still for its intensity.

And even longer decant, a full day kept cool in partially-opened bottle:  Consistent aroma.  The integration has improved even more.  The acids define and complement, no longer overwhelm.  There is almost a creaminess to the palate.  Nice.  

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