3 Recent Wines …

Layer Cake, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009, California

A calm but direct Cabernet.  Nice smokiness with diverse berry blasts.  Tannins, adorable.  This was enjoyed on New Year’s Eve, just sipped.  Somewhat paired with apps, but mostly just casually consumed.  This is a Cab for people that enjoy elegance and finesse over tannic tyranny.  The alcohol percentage, 14.1, which allows more artful palates a chance to flourish in flavor.  Poetic, this Cab.  Ballet balance in each of its steps.  After open for over an hour, it slides across palates like scenic fog.  Nice to see a wine with this composure at such a reasonable price.  And, for an ’09, it already had a voice, a posture, an identity.

Qupé, Syrah, 2008, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley

A Syrah for Syrah lovers.  Juicy, spicy, smooth, bewitchingly voluptuous mid-palate.  Had this with burgers topped with medium-sharp cheddar and caramelized onions.  A multitalented Syrah, one needing a dinner table, palate home.  Nose to finish, all wild spice berry, a minty lean.  Like I said, a Syrah for those loyal to the varietal.  Not simplistic, but sturdy in its strut.  This could easily age for another 4-7 years, with the structure, inhabiting ballad habits, pulsating notes.  Zooming…  Even after extending oxygen contact, this wine persists with a deliciously tenacious pulse.  Missing this bottled manuscript would prove a certain mistake.  Go enjoy a stupendous Syrah sip stampede.  Let Qupé teach you about real Syrah translation, representation.  Sip, sip …

Carpe Diem, 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Oh, the ’08 vintage with Napa Valley Cabs.  So in love, this simple writer.  My buddy Steve, owner of downtown Napa wine bar “Carpe Diem,” gave this to me for a little wine appreciation, theory.  What a musical bottle; Literary just in its flavor transitions, finish, connection to next sip.  Linear, consistent, yes.  But not in anyway boring, simplistic, or predictable.  Mouthfeel, gentle but assertive–smoke, chocolate, blueberry, black pepper.  Coy mint flashes on finish but nothing overbearing.  Upon second pour, a more pronounced raspberry voice on nose.  Again, balanced.  With this second sip set, I appreciated more the acidic arrangement of the wine.  Guaranteed, this would please even the most choosy of Cabernet counsels.  Go get a bottle, now…  At Carpe Diem Wine Bar in Napa’s animatedly entrapping downtown…

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