Pop and pour. Ripe fruit and hickory on nose Rich and lush dark ripe fruit 20 mins after opening. Huckleberry, black plum, blackberry. Really rich and smooth, medium-heavy weight with a silky mouthfeel that coats the palate for a 25+ sec finish. This was a big winner, and while my last bottle and in/near the heart of its drinking window, this can go for several more years without worry IMO.
This bottle was much, much better than the notes here led me to anticipate. Upon decanting, the aromas leapt from the bottle. Probably at its best through the first hour, as the nose became more reticent with time. Integrated balanced flavors with enough structure and acidity. After about 4 or 5 hours in the decanter, the tannins showed more prominently. 93-94ish
Decanted 2 1/2 hours. Last tasted 2011. Dark purple with a dark ruby edge in appearance. Has a lovely bouquet of sweet dark and purple fruits and some dark earth with a hint of vanilla and a touch of menthol. Chewy tannins on the front accentuated by some cassis, plums, blackberries, and blueberries. Long finish; impressive.
Parent's Anniversary Dinner (Rocknroller's (Kevin & Vicki's Place)): Very dark purple/red color. Decanted for about 20 minutes, drank 1 glass with dinner over 30 minutes plus. I didn't take any notes on this wine, and I didn't think very hard about it. I just drank it and it worked. According to my dad, it was perfect with the steaks. Inky, blackberry fruits, oak, dense and multi-layered with a touch of heat, but it was a nice pairing, and I probably enjoyed it more than previous bottles.
A 3 hour decant, drank a small pour over about 15 minutes. Initially, so big, luscious and fruity. The primary flavor here is dusty chocolate. In your face, high intensity. Sweet tobacco, blackberry liqueur qualities. The tannins linger on the finish but the taste does not. Even with just 15 minutes in front of me, the alcohol intensified significantly, and it went from a pleasant heavy portish wine to a somewhat disjointed mess. It has more in common with an Aussie shiraz than a cabernet.
Very dark purple color. 2hr decant, 2.5oz pour over 30 minutes. Hi toned, blackberry, chocolate, light eucalyptus, black currant, spice and pepper. The palate is dense with blackberry liqueur, sweet - a bit port like, chocolate, heavy tannins and some alcohol shows on the mid and end. 88 to 89pts.
Very dark purple-red color. Slow-O for 5 hours. Drank 1 glass over 45 minutes. This was a little different from the last bottle I had. This lacked the eucalyptus quality and the mint, which in general I find desirable. The nose has ripe black fruits, cassis, blackberry, tobacco, mulberry, chocolate, and a touch of molasses. There is also a nice wood spice character on the nose. The palate has nice definition, with good fruit, good texture, full body, cassis, blackberry, mulberry, tobacco, spice, wood, and medium plus tannins that follow into an average finish. My only negative is a bit more green/herbal character on the palate and maybe a touch too wood in the finish. But on the whole this is drinking pretty well.
Dropped into a dencanter, consumed over 3+ hours. Ripe dark fruit, casis, oak and a little eucalyptus. Picked up on closeout several years back; worth about what I paid for it which is not a lot. Better CA cabs out there. Meh+
Blind Tasting of 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Thomas Rivers Brown: A ripe, dark nose of sweet, green-tinged fruits — black currant, wild blackberries, maraschino cherries, and olives. In the background, one finds some overripe notes and oak, along with some brown sugar, cinnamon, medicinal notes. On the palate, the wine is surprisingly juicy and smooth, but finishes with an unpleasant shot of alcohol.
First, let me provide objective evidence. We popped ond poured this Friday night after returning from a gala dinner at the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell as part of the NYS Bar Association Business Law Section Fall Meeting. There were three others, none of whom are wine fanatics, but all of whom have more than a passing interest in wine. The first word uttered by one of them was "wow." So that puts it in the over 90 points category in my scoring method. And I think it was well-deserved. Other comments included "best red wine I ever had" and "I have to keep coming to these conferences because you always bring great wine" and "I normally hate red wine but this is great."
I can see how people who prefer thin, insipid wines with limited flavor and overbearing acidity caused by the inability to ripen the grapes will not like this wine. I, on the other hand, bemoan the breakup of the relationship between Messrs. Twelftree and TR Brown, which means that 2008 is the last vintage of this wine. Sometimes when two geniuses collide, they shed great light in a supernova, and then go dark. That is what happened here. There is a cascade of red and dark fruit flavors, spice and chocolate, with an extremely round and smooth mouth feel that could best be described as powerful and erotically sexy at the same time. Explosions in your mouth. The nose is strong red fruit and the color is dark wine red, almost getting to black. The finish is very long and goes on and on. For those who worry about how the lack of acidity means this wine will not drink well in 20 years, my answer is that I drank it on the eve of my 61st birthday and I do not care if I will be able to drink it on my 81st. My bottles will all be long gone. They deliver way too much pleasure now to hide them away in the deep recesses of your cellar for 10 or 15 years. And besides, I seem to recall that the 1947 Cheval Blanc had a very high ph, so maybe acidity is not all it's cracked up to be on the issue of aging.
**UPDATE** SO I didn't give up on this wine. Day three of slow-ox in my fridge, and the funk has blown off and it turns out that this is actually pretty tasty. It looks like it just needed an extended decant to fully open up. Dark fruits and cherry on the palate, with sweet vanilla and a little heat on the finish. Overall, on day three, it's where I expected it to be. Score upgraded from 82 to 90! ** I'm still trying to figure this one out. I am pretty sure this bottle wasn't flawed, but it was definitely not a style that I enjoyed very much. Popped and poured, on the nose, the wine has a funky, earthy smell that dominates the hint of fruit underneath. The funk never really blew off and the palate was dominated by a musty, spicy dark fruit/gamey flavor. The alcohol was evident on the finish and was actuallya welcome change. Had one glass and left the rest to try on day 2. On day 2: still dominated by the funk, but a little more fruit is showing today. Alcohol is better integrated, but I'm disappointed in this one. Will cellar the rest for a few years before I try it again.
Had this last night with pasta and meatballs with about a 30-45 minute decant. The wine didn't have my full attention because of the Masters and conversation, but I thought this wine was a bit too ripe. A lot of dark fruit on the nose and too much sweet oak for my liking. I have two more bottles of this, and am not ecstatic about it. Really preferred the 07.
While the 2007 just barely managed to keep from going over the line on ripeness, this vintage goes too far. There's overripe, overly sweet raisiny black fruit, a whole lot of oak, and quite a bit of alcohol, and it lacks the density, balance and structure to hold it all together. Decanted this for an hour and then drank over the course of 2 more hours, it never improved.
Decanted for 90 mins before drinking. Tons of oak on the nose, even 3 hours after decanting. Oak continues on the palate, you can almost sense the graininess of the barrel. Blueberry and ripe fruit, tartness to it all. Seems softer and more approachable than its individual components lead me to believe. Retry next bottle in 3+ years.
Decanted for a couple of hours. Very dark inky purple on the glass. The nose of black fruits and cassis are right there and then some. Definitely still tight on the palate, but very very delicious and packs some heat. Tannins are chewy and accentuated by the black fruits, cassis, and more black fruits; some oak is detected. Everything's coming together, and not all over the place. Definitely a young wine that will gain traction as it ages. Maybe try again in 3 years or so(or sooner)? I am scoring this for where I think this wine is going. 91 pts to me right now...
p&p. Dark powerful fruit - your Classic cali nose. Cassis, very dark fruits. Holy christ it's dense. Upon tasting my first response is: "More power". Silky fornt to mid palate. Young and hot, but what do you expect, it's a big bad cali cab. Good stuff. 92
Popped and poured. Medium-plus purple/garnet, youthful. Forward aromas of blackberry, black cherry, red bean paste, vanilla bean, and spice from toasted oak. Medium-plus body, but less concentrated than previous vintages. On the palate, this 2008 shows large-scaled and ripe, much like the 2007, with notes of ripe blackberry, ripe currant, and plum along with discernible oak and perhaps a sensation of minerals missing from previous vintages. The tannins are big and somewhat chunky on the plus close. Clearly quite young, this wine should ideally be left alone for 6-12 months before opening, at which point it should reveal more character. Either way, the tannins and structure bode well for extended aging and this should go easily for 5-8+ years.
2nd day notes. Great! Mountain nose of dark and plump fruits, flowers, a touch of brown sugar, spices - mostly cinnamon. Still tight on the palate, but delicious. Concentrated berry, mostly purple fruit on the palate. Chalky fnish that is still tight, but enjoyable. Sould have the stuff to show for a while, it's slight out of balance right now. Will rock in a few years and a heck of a deal now.
Sadly, this bottle was corked with musty aromas appearing immediately upon removal of the cork. The fruit was still discernable...certainly a nice wine underneath, hopefully the next bottle opened is sound.
Had to drink. Cork leaking on both bottles. Rather disappointing since I was intending to let it lie down for a few years. Wine was not ruined. Certainly showed signs that it would mature very well. Very nice nose, full of fruit, long finish.
A 2hr decant and then drinking over two hours- taking our time with this one. Getting lots of black fruit, licorice, cassis, bitter herb, chewy tannins, and a promising finish with some oomph. Will certainly improve over the next 3-5 and drink well for the next 7-10. Looking forward to pairing with 6hr BBQ'd ribs in a few minutes.
I'm drifting a bit on whether or not to even rate this wine because it has real potential but.......THE OAK MONSTER is alive and kicking at least on the first bottle even two hours after opening . So, I will salt the other three bottles away that just arrived from WTSO and wait for a year to see if this Oak blows off.
Dark. Inky black-hole dark. Nose shows some notes of cassis driven black fruits but this wine is so primary you really have to look (almost like a barrel sample). The palate right off the bat reveals mountain fruit, and a lot of it. It is pure and slightly unfocused now, but this should really pull together nicely. There's all black fruits of currant, blackberries, black raspberries and black plum. Did I say currant? I should again. An almost cola note shows itself as well. Tannins are humongous and acidity perfectly in balance but the real story here today is the finish....this just goes and goes and goes. In May 2011, my CLONYC tasting group had the good fortune to host Michael Twelftree of Two Hands Wines and taste through a dozen of his latest releases. He had shared with us many of his thoughts of wine, one being that all of the great wines of the world have one thing in common, and that is a great finish ---and if there was ever an example of somebody putting their money where their mouth, its this Cabernet. As I type I still sense the purity of the black fruits on my tongue, and we're talking many minutes since I type slow (still peck & hunt). Sure, it's young, but it is so delicious that I have zero guilt on opening this today. I have a few wonderful porterhouse steaks in line for a bit later, its cool and comfortable outside, albeit a bit wet, and it's Saturday. This is not for the faint of heart, and I am not the faint of heart type of guy. Todays Charlie's Patch could vie for the my favorite Charlie's Patch out of the last four vintages, and 2007 was no slouch......