Eric's 40th Birthday Party

Tasted April 6, 2013 by elamasters with 158 views

Introduction

The wines were opened around noon and were not decanted. The six of us followed them throughout the day, accompanied by a wide variety of hors d'oeurves and then with grilled ribeyes at dinner later in the evening.

Flight 1 (6 notes)

Red
2005 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
99 points
Immediately upon opening, this wine had an amazing, vibrant nose of black cherries accented by baking spices. An interesting mix of red and black fruit on the palate along with a rich creaminess and an extremely long finish. Very fine tannins give this an elegant, silky mouthfeel. This is a spectacular example of Napa Cabernet and showed really well today.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Bevan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon David's Cuvée Showket Vineyards USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
98 points
This is a fascinating wine. A very complex, exotic nose of mixed berries, spring flowers, cardamom and a hint of smoked meat. Really complex and mouthfilling on the palate with a very long finish. It is dark and broad, but it also has a laser-like beam of something bright and energetic that runs right down the center giving it lots of vibrancy and freshness. The very fine-grained tannins provide nice structure and a luxurious, polished mouthfeel. The complexity of this wine kept drawing me back again and again, each time revealing another facet of its character.
Red
2002 Abreu Cabernet Sauvignon Madrona Ranch USA, California, Napa Valley
98 points
Big, expressive nose. Layers of dried berries, brown sugar, and graphite along with an earthy forest floor note. Very massive and mouth-filling with a supple, velvety mouthfeel. This is a beautiful wine in prime drinking window right now, but with plenty of stuffing to go for many more years.
Red
2006 Sine Qua Non Syrah Raven Series USA, California
96 points
Very dark and opaque. Very meaty, with a strong impression of smoky bacon. Lot of blueberries, some licorice, and a hint of spices. It also has a savory olive tapenade aspect to it. Very open and expressive.
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Red
2009 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
96 points
This was very tight at first and took over six hours to really open up and give a peek at the beautiful wine hiding inside. Loads of very dark fruit (maybe black currants) along with some vanilla and a hint of cocoa powder. Very structured on the palate with grippy tannins. A few more years in the bottle should help this to become more expressive and unfurl the layers that are tightly wound up right now.
Red
2009 Greer Cabernet Sauvignon Greer Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
94 points
Really young and very tight right now. With coaxing, it becomes evident that it has a very dense core loaded with dark fruit, fresh flowers, and herbs but it is closed up tight right now and not giving much away. It is very structured with seriously grippy tannins. Even 24 hours later, this is still tight and closed. I think this will take considerable time to unwind, but I get the sense that this will be terrific when it hits its stride.

Closing

All of the wines were terrific. The real surprise standout was the Hillside Select, which was very expressive with soaring aromatics right from the moment it was opened. It was first bottle to be finished. The SQN was also very accessible early on and very interesting. The Bevan showed extremely well the whole day, revealing amazing complexity - luckily it was from a magnum, so it lasted all the way through dinner. The Abreu was terrific, as expected, combining complexity and sheer massiveness. The Schrader was quite closed at first, but opened up nicely later and showed great fruit and complexity. The Greer was clearly too young and just never really opened up on this occasion - only providing a hint at what it will be at maturity.