I attended St. Clements 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.
Ill 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), its 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 cant 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.