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I attended St. Clement’s open house today. Aside from an assortment of whites, they were pouring their ’99 Merlot, ’98 & ’99 Cabs and ’98 & ’00 Oroppas. We also got to barrel taste a couple of vineyards going into their 2001 cab.

I’ll just note the highlights…..

’99 Cab: While we enjoy their ’98 Cab with lots of jammy fruit, the ’99 is much more intense with a good amount of tannins. Needs more time in the bottle and will certainly hold up longer than the ’98. A definite buy !

’98 Howell Mnt Cab: This 100% Cab was very nice. Although, for the money ($52), it’s not at the top of my purchase list. I only got another bottle to keep my vertical going.

’98 Oroppas: They were tasting/comparing this from a magnum, double-magnum & a 6L. Wow, is this stuff great !! Each one tasted very different, with the 1.5L magnum the clear winner. This wine easily has 3-5 more years.

2000 Oroppas: This is in pre-release (comes out in September). The wine was decanted for a few hours prior to serving. While it is quite young, it has significant potential. Where the ’98 has a big nose, this one is much softer but with very classic Oroppas characteristics. Needs at least 6 more months in the bottle. I can’t wait until next spring to try a bottle.

2001 Barrel Cab: We tasted the Starr vineyard and one other (the name escapes me). Separately, the Starr was delicious. The two, blended in our glasses, was quite nice. The 2001 cab is set to rival their ’97.
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