Search for Events
Wine of the Day via RSS
Recent Blog Articles
- 4 Great Gifts for Wine Collectors
- Recapping an Epic Tasting of 1968 Cabernet Sauvignon
- A Blow to the Stomach - SF Chronicle to End Standalone Food Section?
- New Pinot Noir and Cabernet Releases from Sojourn Cellars
- Fervor versus Flavors
- Update: Missing Articles on NorCalWine
- Thoughts on the Inaugural Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVA Tasting
- Body Count - On Describing the Body of Wine
- Lateral Moves North
- Enjoy an Epic Tasting of 1968 Napa Valley Cabernets and Other Upcoming Events
- Charles Banks Acquires Historic Qupé Winery In the Santa Maria Valley Appellation
- Spotlight on the Moon Mountain District Sonoma County AVA
- Tasting the Wines of Andrew Murray Vineyards
- Mendocino Sparkles
- Discovering Mendocino
- Review: New California Wine by Jon Bonné
- 12 Things You Should Know about Sake
- Tasting Report: 14th Annual Mt. Veeder Appellation Tasting
- New Research: How Our Brains Categorize Aromas
- Upcoming Wine Events for September 20 - 23
Recent Wines of the Day
- 2011 Harney Lane Old Vine Zinfandel Lizzy James Vineyard Lodi
- 2006 Santana Supernatural Rosé by Mumm Napa
- 2011 Jekel Riesling Monterey and 2011 Jekel Pinot Noir Santa Barbara
- 2012 Matthiasson Chardonnay Linda Vista Vineyard Napa Valley
- Review from the Cellar - 2010 Qupé Mourvedre Ibarra-Young Vineyard
- 2012 Tres Sabores Rosé “Ingrid and Julia” Napa Valley
- 2011 Testarossa Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- 2009 Lucia Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- Review: 2009 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
- 2008 Vin Roc Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak Napa Valley
- 2009 Cornerstone Cellars “The Cornerstone” Napa Valley
- 2009 Laetitia Pinot Noir Single Vineyard La Colline Arroyo Grande Valley
- 2010 Lange Twins Chardonnay Estate Grown Clarksburg AVA
- 2012 Borra Vineyards Artist Series Kerner Lodi AVA
- 2010 Wren Hop Pinot Noir “Fire Messenger” Sonoma Coast
- 2011 Lucia Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- 2011 Roar Chardonnay Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- 2010 Frostwatch Chardonnay Bennett Valley Sonoma County
- 2007 Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District Napa Valley
- 2012 Voss Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
Wine of the Day
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Written by Fred Swan
- Wednesday, 29 June 2011 23:35
At the 1st Annual Wine Bloggers Conference, Alice Feiring was a guest speaker. During the Q&A section, she was asked, “If a Martian came to Earth and wanted to understand wine, what would you tell them?” Feiring immediately responded, “Drink Gamay.” Moments, perhaps days, of stunned silence followed. I suppose silly questions deserve silly answers.
The next Martian I meet will be the first. But, surprisingly, I do meet a lot of Earthlings who haven’t had a really good Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Some are from Europe where the wine is hard to find. Others live on the East Coast and grew up with a bent toward old world wine, or just an anti-Left Coast bias. A couple were raised by wolves. Anyway, whether due to their own curiosity or my encouragement, they eventually want to know what all the fuss is about. “What wine should I taste to understand Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon?” they ask.
Here’s one good answer: 2007 Darms Lane Bon Passe Vineyard. It has all of the hallmarks of a classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The color is concentrated ruby with purple in the rim and legs. A nose of black cherry, black currant and currant leaf wafts out of the glass to greet you. Complementary aromas of oak, cocoa and vanilla join in. On the palate, the wine is just short of full body with ripe, talc-like tannins that balance the alcohol and rich fruit. The most prominent flavors are black currant, tobacco leaf, black cherry and coconut. It is a smooth wine with a lengthy finish that leaves you wanting more. It will pair well with steak or lamb.
Nothing in this wine is out of balance or calls particular attention to itself. Being from the Oak Knoll District, it is ripe and pure but doesn’t have one dominant feature to identify it’s origin like a Roman nose or Yorkshire accent. It’s not as ripe as Calistoga, robustly tannic as Howell Mountain or replete with the briary blackberry of Mt. Veeder. There is no Rutherford dust. But, while the wine doesn’t wear its terroir on its sleeve, it is an impeccable representation of both Cabernet Sauvignon and the predominant (rather than stereotypical) winemaking style of Napa Valley. Enjoy now through 2017. Highly Recommended.
2007 Darms Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Bon Passe Vineyard Napa Valley
Rating: Highly Recommended
Drink: now through 2017
Retail Price: $60.00 , direct from the winery
Origin: Bon Passe Vineyard, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley
Winemaker: Brian Mox
Blend: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Aging: 20 months in French oak barrels, 50% new
Production: 495 cases
The wine above was provided for review by the winery.
Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook. Also check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.
This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.