Only Napa Cabernets and Bordeaux from France can age, they said. Nobody else can make the quality of wines that you’ll find in those areas. You already know that the wines of Bordeaux can age – and then along came the Judgement of Paris in 1976 which made Napa’s street cred, and they’ve been aging, expensively, in cellars ever since. They said that no one else can make Cabs like those two places because they don’t have enough experience, great winemakers, they have so-so fruit, they lack the magical essence of Napa, blah blah blah.
I more or less sort of believed all of that for a couple of reasons:
- I didn’t have enough experience at the time to argue. What “they” said seemed plausible. Mostly.
- It really didn’t matter since I couldn’t afford the wines that allegedly could age.
- The rather tenuous definition of “aging.” Five years? Ten years? More? How much more? Less?
Since my years of spring chickenhood are far behind me, I decided to cap the “aging” time frame at about ten years. Seems reasonable. I’m sure that if I had decided to spend $$$ or more on a bottle of wine, I could flex it a bit, but I decided to keep it real. While the $$ wines could be mine on a semi-regular basis, truth be told, I have yet to get to the $$$ bottles. At least, not on my own dime.
It was totally by accident that I found the Scion. I was at a Thursday night wine tasting at Khoury’s and that was the wine being poured. One sip and I was a goner! Issa ordered a few bottles for me, and I realized that it wasn’t an accident that I was in love.
I went so far as to have a Scion vertical a few years ago, consisting of 1999 through 2005 vintages. It was a hit. I wrote about the event in my pre-hacked blog (I’ll dig it up at a later date), and was happy to report that there wasn’t a single dog in the bunch. The 2002 Scion which I tasted last year, earned my first (and so far only) Eddie award of excellence. Even more, this particular label in the RYEW bunch has been compared to the likes of Opus One, Shafer, Caymus, Silver Oak. Okay, so Silver Oak makes an Alexander Valley Cab. But the RYEW is still a fraction of the price of that.
I tasted a wine that was 11 years after vintage, a 2000 Ortman Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. OF COURSE it was luscious, even though there was lots of emotion involved in the tasting. See my posting on Villa San-Juliette for more info on that one.
As many of you may know, I’m in the process of getting my certifications, all of which involve a lot of studying, sweat, tears, determination, and focus. I’m currently on week four of my California Wine Appellation Specialist training, and part of this week’s assignment is comparing Napa to Sonoma. Lovely. As it turns out, other than attitude in some of the tasting rooms, I have nothing bad to say about Napa, or Sonoma for that matter. Well, at least not about the wines, that’s for sure! I’m just spoiled by the folksy “niceness” in the Central Coast tasting rooms.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Either way, yummy.
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