Friday, December 28, 2012

Updated Review: *** $$ C&B Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 2009

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By way of background, opening thoughts: It makes sense to understand the origins of the wines you drink.  Usually (not always, but usually), a winery will describe the most particular level at which its wines were procured.  So "California" is a much wider range than "Napa Valley", which in turn is a much wider range than a particular section or vineyard within "Napa Valley".  Here we are trying a "Napa Valley" cabernet sauvignon, sourced from multiple regions or vineyards within Napa. In assessing this wine also, please recognize that the term "Reserve" has no formal meaning in California.  If a vineyard has a wine without a "Reserve" designation, then the "Reserve" labeling would mean something.


Original tasting and review , October, 2011: This is C&B Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 2009, finished at 14.1% alcohol.

In the glass: C&B cabernet shows deep, almost black burgundy, opaque a quarter inch from the edge. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows deep and soft black fruit, framed with some oak.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bold, sturdy and chewy.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact bold and poignant ripe plums with a solid tannic backbone.  Full ripe plums fade cleanly to the finish, with the tannic robe.  Some red currants showing through as well.

In summary: Overall, with its deep and bright potency, rates a solid three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, almost picks up a plus for its red fruit-driven layers.  May show more with additional time.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  The nose is more shy, but the palate has grown richer with ripe plums.  Still smooth tannins in the finish.
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Updated review, over a year later,  December, 2012:  Consistent color and aroma a year later.  Holds its tangy, plum flavor, brings on sleek, red currants on the finish still as well.  Holding up, but not adding complexity or notable texture.

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