Thursday, May 17, 2007

2004 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine represents the first Californian cab I really drank in 2007. For the longest time, I have shied away from new world cab and concentrated on wines from left bank Bordeaux and Languedoc regions. Time for a change!

Ordered this Cabernet over lunch at a local wine bar for $10 by the glass. At a restaurant for a cab of this quality, it is really a good deal. Retail price at time of writing should be around $

According to the producer, 2004 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon is 97% Cabernet and 3% Petit Verdot. The fruit of this wine comes from both Rutherford and local Napa Valley vineyards. Each vineyard block was harvested and made into an individual lot representing that block. The wines were pressed off the skins from 10 to 23 days after crushing. Blending generally takes place between January and April of the year following harvest and the wine is aged for 18 months in American oak barrels with 1/3 new wood.

Tasting notes:

Color: Dark ruby.

Nose: Fairly closed. Mostly currant and hints of vanilla.

Palate: Velvety and smooth with layers of warm dark fruit. Relatively thin at first. With air, the wine gains weight, Supple tannins begin to creep out. Other flavors also become more evident: cedar, spice possibly some leather. Very balanced but not a whole of of depth or complexity.

Body: Medium to full. Supple tannins.

Finish: Medium long. Notes of chocolate.

According to the winemaker, 2004 was one of the earliest harvests in Napa Valley history. This wine already show signs of maturity and should peak in 2-3 years. If properly stored, it should drink well for 5 to 8 years after that. Buy 1 to lay down is not a bad idea.

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