Perfect Timing

Dinner at home with my visiting children and a random handful of bottles.

The oldest bottle of Korbel Natural in my cellar–and one needing to be dranken very badly. I’ve never pushed one to 14 years before, but after ten, they take on substantial toasty notes, the color drastically deepens, and pfffft can start fading. If you’re a fan of seriously-aged Champagne, this is your jam, but frankly: I prefer them fresh and zesty. Still decent but fast-fading bubbles on this one, rich dark Chardonnay yellow, rich heady nose of spiced applesauce, smoked almonds and dusty floral. A thin, sharp, citrus exuberance still sits atop the wine, while beneath: tertiary writhes over calm, bitter dryness in the finish. On to finish up the ’08’s!

The least-well-showing bottle of Poco I have opened in recent months, and perhaps it was the setting, or food, or company, or of course the bottle… but this one–while still gorgeous–felt a bit dull. The past several opportunities have resulted in mind-blowing delicious extravaganza silencing and stunning the whole table, and this time: it was just really REALLY good. Fruit taking on a tapenade-ish sorta polished fade, acid and tannin still powerful, but the balance on the whole package feeling a bit tired. STILL JUST BEYOND GOOD.

Dipping into my fast-fading vertical of Vinoce cab, I love 2009 for almost the same reasons now understood about 11. Quite under-ranked vintage IMO. Tight on opening, a good decant sprouted sweet floral and beautiful oak over thickly-concentrated berry. Peach fuzz, vanilla chocolate, baby powder and gear-lube mired in a thick, brackish pond-water melange throwing considerable sediment and a hint of brick. So fucking ridiculously stupid gorgeous on the palate: hits of mint and euc massage the red dust and conifer into cherry-swollen pores spread open with perfume and caked with tannic sparkle-dust. Napa cab doesn’t get much more better than this.

2007 KORBEL ‘Natural’ PN/CH 65/55 Méthode RRV Sonoma 12.5
1994 CAVES SAO JOAO ‘Quinta do Poco do Lobo’ Cab Beiras Portugal 13.0
2009 VINOCE VINEYARDS Cab Solar Hill Mt. Veeder Napa Valley 14.8

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