Blind Cabernet

A group of us got together at Davec's on Sunday night and opened a handful of cabernets. Davec was kind enough to cook some delicious flank steak and other brought a variety of sides. Here are my notes, followed by the group's vote and then the wines. I'm sure Davec and Pilot360 will chime in with their impressions.

Wine 1: lots of red fruits; redcurrant and raspberry, cedar, smoke, cinnamon, leather and tobacco. Nice, but not anything special. My #4 (tie)

Wine 2: Similar to #1 but bigger/darker. Blackberries, spicy tobacco, vanilla, great nose. My #2

Wine 3: light, funky, cranberries, red fruits, herbal,, green, dilly, chemically, flat. Quite a disappointment. My #8.

Wine 4: What a nose! red cherries, raspberries, earth and mushrooms all on the nose. Lots of fruit; blackberries and raspberries on the palate complemented by licorice, rosemary and roasted meat. Concentrated and complex. Clearly the best of the lineup. My WOTN.

Wine 5: Most Bordeaux like of the group right off the back. Tobacco, green pepper, forest floor, mushrooms, kind of a saline nori flavor, very minerally, almost syrah-like. My #4 (tie) This improved a lot in the glass and might have been higher with a few more hours.

Wine 6: Started off a lot like #3. Dilly, chemically, flat, oaky. This also improved with time, but still was near the bottom of the pack for me at the end of the night. Needs time. My #7.

Wine 7: Red and Black fruits, leather, cedar, good acidity, spicy tobacco. Like a smaller version of #2. My #3.

Wine 8: Poured after the previous 7 from a magnum. Lots of blue and black fruits. Nice but simple. A little grapey but goes down smooth. My #5.

The group voted for top 3.

Wine 4 was clearly the group WOTN with 4 firsts.
Wine 2 was group's second with 5 second place votes.
Wine 8 was third.
Wine 6 was fourth.
Wine 5 had a first place vote.
Wine 7 had a second and third place votes.
Wines 1 and 3 didn't get any top 3 votes.

Wine 1: 2006 Caymus Special Selection
Wine 2: 2006 Maybach Materium
Wine 3: 2002 Quilceda Creek
Wine 4: 2006 Ovid D7.86 (cab franc)
Wine 5: 2006 Cayuse Camaspelo
Wine 6: 2010 Ruby Trust Cellars (cab franc)
Wine 7: 2001 Lokoya Diamond Mt
Wine 8: 1999 Trefethen
Original Post
Interesting that the cab franc took top honors with some should have been great cabs in the lineup. Did anyone know ahead of time they were in there other than whoever brought them or were they thrown in as a curveball? I've never had one I really liked but have never had one of that quality either.
I brought both cab francs and was the only person (well, my wife did too) of the eight that knew. I only knew mine and that a Quilceda was in the lineup. Otherwise, it was single blind to most people except for what they brought. I love cab franc, but before the bags were off I couldn't tell you which wine was which grape.

Neither cab franc is 100%. The Ovid is 61% cab franc, 29% merlot and 10 % cab sauv. The Ruby Trust is 74% cab franc, 13% syrah, 11% petit verdot, 2% cab sauv.

I actually thought the Ruby Trust was the Quilceda because it started just my my previous experiences with the QC. The Ruby Trust actually opened up and improved quite a bit, whereas the QC didn't. I wish I hadn't know that a QC was in the lineup because it might have influenced my assessment. For most of the night I had it as the bottom, but moved it up near the end because it kept improving. I still think the Ruby Trust was the 6th or 7th best wine of the flight, but others really liked it. I think it needs several more years. It was also about 1/5 the price of most of the other wines in the lineup...

The Ovid was in a good place and will be there for years to come. Very nice wine. I think they produce some great wines, but I wish they were a bit more affordable...

The Cayuse was the most unique and perplexing of the bunch. I really liked it, but it was just so different than the others it was hard to compare. Funny because Cayuse syrah actually crossed my mind after the owner said it wasn't old world...
The tasting was on Saturday night.

I knew half of the wines before we bagged them. I was expecting to be amazed by the Caymus, the Maybach, and the Lokoya, and figured the others would impress as well, but thought they were merely just good. Only the Cayuse had a significantly different nose, but all tasted similar to me. I did think that most of the wines improved over the evening.

As it turns out, I woke up Sunday morning with a cold, which may have explained my inability to tell much difference, or to thoroughly enjoy the wines.

I re-opened a '06 O'Brien Estate Seduction, which was originally opened on Tuesday, to sip before the main event, and I thought it and the Trefethen stood up quite well to the other wines.

Rick took the remainder of the Caymus and the Quilceda home, and rated the Caymus a 94 on Sunday and the Quilceda a 93 on Monday.

RonB left the remainder of the Ovid with us, and we plan to finish it off tomorrow. My wife and I have always been impressed with Ovid wines, we like good Cab Francs, and I expect it to be good tomorrow.
Wow! That must have been a heck of a lineup if the last place wines were Caymus SS and QC that were still rated in the mid 90s! Eek

The Ruby Trust intrigues me for some reason. Just signed up for their mailing list. Wonder how long it'll take to get on it.
The Lokoya, Caymus, Maybach, and Trefethen were opened and tasted for faults, 1 oz pours, four hours before being poured. The 750s were poured about 15-30 minutes before serious tasting began. The Trefethen was poured an hour or so later than that.

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