The era of buying wine that is meant to age is gone like the era of intentionally oxidized white wines and undetected TCA in wineries. Undrinkability upon release is seen the same way by the marketplace—as a flaw. And that's not going away.
A Cabernet from a vineyard situated on the backside of the Mayacamas Range some three miles from the intersection of Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties that compares to 90 point Napa Cabs (depending on where you sit on the current Palate Press point system debate) selling at twice the price. The nose is a bit misleading at first, with seemingly dried out fruit and alcohol. But it does a vinous striptease in the glass (about a half-hour show), slowly unveiling its charms as the tannins give way to luscious blackberry, allspice, and currant fruit on the palate. The finale of the show is lingering and rich. This won a Best of Class Award at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, held earlier this year in Sonoma County. A real keeper.
A vegetal palate, green pepper, tobacco, some eucaplyptus, but most of all, just unripe "green," all flavored with enough wood treatment to call it an "oaksident." Tannins are slightly rough. The finish is tart, bordering on sour. Not recommended.
A vibrant Cabernet Sauvignon still has traces of tannin, but that's phasing out as raspberry takes over the flavor profile. Dark red color, touches of black cherry and a hint of leather in the aroma. Six Napa Valley appellations provide grapes, with Cab (82%) and Merlot (12%) heading the blend from an elegant little winery, surrounded by one of the last extant stands of Napa redwood.
Less than a hundred feet away from my desk a handful of young Frontenac and St. Croix vines are entering their third year here in Salt Lake City, and maybe they aren’t the only ones around. A few industrious pioneers and forward-thinking visionaries are betting blood, sweat, and acres on a ridiculous proposition: to create an authentically American, native grape capable of transforming the wine world.