Good friends and wine lovers over for dinner last night for dinner of roast tenderloin (filet mignon) and starting with a wine tasting. 1997 was a superior vintage in the Napa Valley for cabernet sauvignon. I purchased these wines 12 years ago in anticipation of this dinner. Fine Napa Valley cabernet can be in a sweet spot at age 15. Most everyone knows that Beringer makes an excellent Private Reserve cabernet sauvignon year in and year out. They also typically bottle about 200 cases of each of the vineyards that are used in the private reserve blend. This year it was five different vineyards. We started with the tasting and after about 45 minutes served dinner.
2008 Chateau Dominique Lafon Meursault - One of my wino guests brought this. Took about 30 minutes to open but very nice with a rich gold color and a long finish. Definitely not Napa Valley chardonnay.
1997 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignons - All the wines had good fills and perfect corks. All the wines appeared to be unfiltered with serious bottle staining
Quarry Vineyard - Rutherford, east of the Silverado Trail. Medium ruby, muscular wine but balanced, long finish, very nice
Tre Colline Vineyard - Howell Mountain. Medium ruby, fresh, mountain fruit but well balanced. Very nice
Bancroft Vineyard - Howell Mountain. Beringer hss often made an excellent Merlot from this vineyard. Balanced, long finish, very nice.
Marston Vineyard - Spring Mountain. Opened right up, elegant, nice balance with a note of olive.
Chabot Vineyard - Napa Valley, East of Silverado Trail and West of Howell Mountain. I do not know the blend percentage of the Private Reserve this year but I have been told that the Chabot Vineyard was the backbone of the Private Reserve with as much as 50% of the total blend. Medium ruby, elegant,immensely enjoyable. My personal favorite.
Private Reserve - Real quality evident from the git go with this one. Some mountain fruit is evident, fine balance, elegant. A beauty.
These wines were all made by Ed Sbragia. We all agreed they were fresh, mature but young mature and they were all excellent. A fine showing.
How did they rank? The most informal survey but often accurate is which wines were finished first. Cleaning up after the guests left, the wine glasses were numbered and the Chabot and the Private Reserve were generally gone.
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