the July 2016 Cab Challenge contenders
The July Cabernet challenge of all 2005 Cabernet was an exciting evening that saw some great entries including a Stag’s Leap Cask 23 and a Caymus Special Reserve. Participants (or judges) went to extraordinary lengths to procure their entry and make sure it landed at the tasting room in top condition.
Bruce gives the award of most dedicated Cab character to Steve J. who drove from Ohio to pick up his bottle of Lewis Cellars Cab from Napa and kept the bottle in controlled temperatures throughout the drive down. Sorry the Cab didn’t score better Steve but better luck next time.
The Hansen Estate showed nuances of sweet licorice and dark chocolate with a balance so fine it felt like a wave of silk crashing on your palette. The Caymus was noted to contain coffee on the nose and was consistently voted as having an above average appearance. As this wine opened up a bit the coffee seemed to twist into a funk. It was stated by Judge Becky that the Hansen Reserve (our overall winner) had a lovely scent of cherry on the nose. The finish stayed long and the well balanced structure was still intact. Just an overall beautiful wine even though it was 11 years old.
The Stag’s Leap Cask 23 was an exciting edition to the tasting but unfortunately didn’t have the structure to stand with that beautiful floral nose it had. Bruce stated this was the only wine to actually crawl up his sinuses. The Kobalt had an unusual nose upfront and while it was rated to have one of the best appearances, this wine was not chosen as a 1st 2nd or 3rd. The Hansen Graduate came in 2nd with gorgeous varietal characteristics on the nose. This wine sat well on the mid palette with fleeting amounts of tannin on the sides of the mouth.