2005 Canoe Ridge Vineyard, Horse Haven Hills, Reserve Merlot, Columbia Valley

Nice body, aging remarkably well.  Melodic progression in fruit and subtle earthy spices, rich berries supported by sophisticated playful tannins.  Just a nice wine to sip on its own here in the 1Stop hut.  Didn’t need food.  Decanted for about 90 minutes.  Lovely gift from a new friend!  Gorgeous color, beyond merely sippable.  Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t ever want to pair this with food.  Well, maybe sometimes, something with a buttery or carmelized element.  But, as with this occasion, it was flawless in the glass, on its own.  Nice revisit to the ’05 vintage …

Silver Oak, 2005, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley

Not what I expected at first, to be frank.  There was a shortage of charisma in its nose, mouth, finish.  Even in its color.  But, after a couple hours of shaking, air, it slowly came around.  Nice earthy notes, herbs, wild fruit.  The finish had its tannic sparks, but nothing excessive.  Even still, it wasn’t what I expected from a Silver Oak, but I’m still sipping it.  One aspect to this to this bottle, after hours of being open mind you, that engages me, is the noses now-floral overtones and how they propel the fruit in this sexy spiraling pattern on palate.  Interesting experience with this bottle.  Thanks to the gifters!  Wonder what else they’ll throw my/1Stop’s way…

Lancaster Estate Winery, 2009, Sophia’s Hillside Cuvée, Alexander Valley

We all know 1Stop’s a fan of Lancaster Estate.  And this ’09 Sophia’s is ample justification for that proclivity.  95%Cab, 5% Merlot.  Yes, a young wine, but less than hour of decanting removes any cranky instability, and there isn’t much anyway.  Chocolate, mocha, espresso, sweet leather, butterfly-like tannins forward the intellect of this wine’s elemental arrangement.  Right now, I’m sipping it on its own, to enjoy the Art in the bottle.  And that’s precisely what resulted from this new wine club member release.  [Yes, 1StopWBS’s a cheerful LE Guild Member.]  Love how the nose, after about 40 minutes of air contact, reshapes itself to offer floral notes intermingled with the raspberry, cherry.  Lovely.  Feminine, forwad.  Still sipping.  And only $42 when it’ll be available for pouring in the tasting salon.  More than “consumer-friendly,” a price like that for a ravishing wine like this.

Saved a little for the next night, about 2.5 glasses worth.  The profile was even more engaging that the night prior.  More present were the notes of spicy plum and raspberry, and the chocolate-nudged vanilla.  Lovely tannic frame with each sip.  Definitely have to reorder, keep a few of these on hand at the 1Stop office.  Pairings might range anywhere from blackened chicken, or spiced red sauce pastas, to Sicilian sausage pizza with some kalamata olives.  Versatile vixen, this ’09 cuvée.


Roth Estate Winery, 2009, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley

$28 on the Roth Estate website?  Are you joking?  This Cab has the posture and consistency of any wine three times its price point.  Nice notes of black cherry, mocha, chocolate, with vanilla dominating the finish atop some mint and herbal tickles.  You could pair this with a number of dishes, like me with the lasagna tonight.  But now, just sipping it by itself, admiring its confident tones.  The nose, as it evolves over the first twenty minutes after cork removal, layers itself in mystery, sequential sip seduction.  I know I’m not making sense.  Hard to with a wine like this, an unbelievably distinct AV Cabernet.  Not sipping haphazardly with this bottle, but devotedly.  Not in the mood to rate.  Just sipping, delighting.