Friday, February 18, 2005

Erie Avenue Blind Tuesday Wine Night #1

Here are the results from the blind tasting at Cumin of eight 2001 California Cabs under $30. We had 7 judges which included wine trade people, a restaurateur and a few amateurs. Thanks to Yajan for donating the space but not the Bourbon at the end. We started the evening with a bottle of Duval-Leroy Rose de Saignee NV Brut ($38) to cleanse the palette. It is a beautiful Champagne Rose with soft bubbles, warm toast aromas and flavors. The wines were mostly unknown to the judges and opened two hours before the event. Each wine was ranked 1 to 8 and the individual scores were added together for a group score.

  1. Mt Veeder Winery, Napa Valley Cab ($30) -- 24 Points -- 4 ranked it #1 or #2, and only 1 ranked it #7. It is interesting that the 2000 Cab was picked first in a California blind taste at Weimax Wines (Great Site! This wine was marked down recently from $40.
  2. Terra Valentine, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District Cab ($30) -- 25 Points -- 4 ranked it #2, and only 1 ranked it #7. Only 1 point separated this wine from the Mt Veeder. This wine was also marked down recently.
  3. Lava Cap, El Dorado Cab ($23) -- 28 Points -- 3 ranked it #1 or #2, and 2 ranked it #8. One judge who is in the business was surprised at how well it did, as he "hates" this wine! Although tied on points with the Nichelini, I gave it a nod due to the 3 #1 and #2 scores.
  4. Nichelini Napa Valley Cab ($30) -- 28 Points -- 1 ranked it #1, and 2 ranked it #7.
  5. Hawley, Dry Creek Valley Cab ($30) -- 33 Points -- 1 ranked it #1, and 2 ranked it #7 or #8. Middle of the road, nothing special.
  6. Boeger, El Dorado Cab ($17) -- 36 Points -- no top 2 votes, and 1 #7. As the value contender this wine held up OK. I had it ranked #4.
  7. Simi, Alexander Valley, Landside Vineyard Cab ($30) -- 37 Points -- no top 2 votes, and 2 ranked it #7 or #8. Having purchased this bottle after a price reduction, I would have guessed it would show better due to the bottle presentation. That is the beauty of a blind taste!
  8. Foxen, Santa Barbara County Cab ($27) -- 41 Points -- 1 ranked it #1, and 3 ranked it #8. There was some agreement on the negative comments on this wine as being uni-dimensional with some unappealing flavors.

Overall, the scores were bunched closely together due to the low number of judges. Next month we will add about five more to get to twelve. Also, next month we plan to review Pinot Noir under $50 from any region which will offer many different styles to choose from.


Anonymous dean said...

Sounds like a wonderful selection of wines. I have had the 2001 Mt Veeder and many of their past vintages and am seldom disappointed. Was a bit surprised by the Foxen. I have not had the one in your tasting but it is usually one of the few Cabs I like from that area (but it was in some tough competition). Seems like your group has similar tasting to me and enjoy those big mountain cabs.

8:25 PM  

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