Un Chapped

This is the story of my New Year’s Eve.  Last one of these baby’s.  It was amazing.  And not in that *it was amazing* way we sometimes open something way past its prime and faded and bricked and we look hard for all the good parts and toss it a bone and say it was amazing, no this thing was, actually, amazing. The most shocking part was the color. Not even garnet.  Full bright ruby with clear edges. Big robust nose crammed full of spice and delicate floral. Decadent, dripping fruit, dark chocolate, and mint.  Quite shocking.

1997 CHAPPELLET Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley


Next up this Cinq Cépages was originally brought along as a back-up in case the Chappellet was toast.  The Signature went so quickly, I ended up opening this as well about halfway through our incredible meal at EMBER.  Plush and lovely as always, it was voted by at least one person at the table the superior wine.

2004 CHATEAU ST. JEAN Cinq Cépages Meritage Red Wine Sonoma County


And the opener was this Ferrer Purple Label, of which I am working my way through a case and probably have 1 or 2 left.  I opened on of it’s sisters LAST NYE and it was heavily toasted in that classic Champagne-aged headiness which I do not find attractive.  I just have never been a fan of that flavor-profile in bubbly.  I  like my bubbles bright and crisp and tart and fruity (not to be confused with sweet) and probably shows why I have gravitated toward California Sparkling Wines my whole life.  This one, however, was quite the opposite of last year’s.  Not super heavy on the bubbles, but bright and crisp, full of melon fruit.  Creamy while maintaining perfect zest and very easy on the toasted almond–surprising for a 12YO wine.

2004 GLORIA FERRER Royal Cuvee Vintage Reserve Brut Carneros Sonoma County


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