1/00. Acquired from New-York, May-94 for $50.
For a wintery Friday night dinner for the two of us, Dorit made a wonderful Chili con Carne. It is not an easy task to match a wine with this zesty dish, especially if you don't particularly like young wines.
We both thought an reasonably mature American wine might be the right choice. I have never tasted Ridge, Monte Bello before, and the single bottle I had of this world famous Cal-Cab has been lying in my cellar for almost six years.
The label claims this wine is a blend of 85% Cab, 10% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. It also says a rigorous selection (over 50% discarded) took place before admitting the grapes into the fermenting vats.
COLOR: Very dark with beautiful red-black hues. Hardly any clearing around the rim. Some sediment left on the bottle's shoulder.
NOSE: Strange! Almost no nose at all. You had to make a effort to get any bouquet out, even after vigorously swirling those big Ridel Rhones we used. Whatever aromas came out were sweet, developed, smoky and oaky. But even fresh pours did not help increase the nose intensity.
TASTE: In total contrast to the almost non-existent nose. On the palate this was an amazing wine! Deep, concentrated and thick in texture. Full of ripe sweet fruit with some added delicious pungent flavors to boost. Prominent bitter tannins counterbalanced the sweetness of the fruit. Full of concentrated winyness, excellent focus and grip. The wine had no problem standing up to the (admittedly only moderately hot) chili dish. Fantastic!
LENGTH: Long aftertaste that left sweet sensation on the lisps and bitterish tones on the back palate.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied though not a block-buster. Thick texture that leave huge marks glycerin on the glass. Very concentrated and expressive. Tannins still abound, but the rich fruit and winyness easily shine through.
OVERALL: Excellent. I had to demote markings here, because a 'noseless' wine is not a complete wine. Other than that, it felt and tasted as real classic wine does [even though I cannot say I am very familiar with its peers].
|MARK: 18/20.||BUY MORE? Yes.|
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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.