Just Sapphic Enough

Dark garnet, with staining bricked edges.  Big alcoholic nose, mossy wet and dried fruit.  Hardwood bark and a vibrant scorched cherry.  Decanted hard.  With air, a steely wet rock replaces the alcohol and scorch, turning things a lovely mineralific minty vegetal.

As I recall, this is the first commercial Cabernet Sapphire Hill made, and it was discussed whether to do it again.  I tasted it on a fluke, somewhere–can’t remember–but I couldn’t buy it.  Tracked down almost a case at my Healdsburg wine-source and bought all they had.  Asked him to re-order.  Went to the winery and they were sold out.  Wine-shop gets in another 6-pack, I drive back to Healdsburg and buy them all.  He marked the price up on this second batch, the bastard!  *whatever the market will bear*  I went back to Sapphire Hill and started asking about futures.  See, this is one of the few wineries who still sell futures.  See kids, “futures” are a way to buy wine before it…. oh nevermind.  Just join your stupid wine-clubs and be sad.  Sure enough, they making another cab and futures were available.  I got a case.  Of course I had to wait three years for them.  I actually haven’t tasted those 2012’s yet.  But back to this 09.

In the mouth, a dull explosion of berry fruit does a raspy dance through a stew of chewy tannins coated in Boston-Baked-Beans candy shell.  This is salted caramel turtles in a glass.  Huge bitter tannins take hold late-palate, causing me to wonder if the fruit will hold out long enough.  I judged it would when tasted young, and still feel the same way.  I know you’ve probably never heard of this winery before–I sure hadn’t–but check them out when you’re in Sonoma County.

2009 SAPPHIRE HILL Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Sonoma County 14.5


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