Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Those Lovely Cabernets

Midwest Cabernet Experience is one of my favorite events of the year. I always get their very early and try to focus on tasting. It always happens, after the first 30 minutes, I run into people I know or haven't seen for a while and while I'll try to keep working, my palate fries and I have to keep eating crackers between every wine. I've learned to execute my commando raid from the moment I enter. This year, I focused on new wines with people I trust and new years of old wines I've always loved. A few surprises and some new finds. My notes are a little corked so there may be a couple of errors. Great to see great wine friends as always -- and congratulations to Arthur at National who is well on his way to becoming the youngest Master Sommelier in the US. If he stays on his flaming pace, he'll be finished in October.

A couple of interesting notes: This is usually a collector cab event for me. I typically buy cabs that I know will put up and be ready on a standard time table. But for some reason, I noted quite a few 1999s are ready to drink now. May be processing, may be something about that year. Either way, I'm not sure this crop is going to keep at the same level the 1997s have.

Highlights of the evening:
Sterling Reserve SVR 2001 -- a knockout cab in just the style I like, big, chocolate, but smooth with vanilla and a few other spices happening at the end. And good for the money -- $35.00 was the discounted price.

Terrazas Gran 1999 -- another knockout California offering. Huge, very polished but very "new school", not a big Bordeaux. This wine is ready to drink now.

Simi Sonoma Reserve 2000 -- a terrific drinker from this incredibly reliable cabernet house. Pricey, but nice and ready to go.

Estancia Red Meritage 2001 -- a dynamite wine for the money, at $27.99 (discounted) a bottle, this wine competes with some of the big guys.

I missed so many great wines and like every year, I have to make myself happy with a few new finds. Great event. Cheers!

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