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Some time back, Mrs Axis and I decided we had to try this wine that
some years previous had received so many accolades ? and so much
controversy. About a year ago I got hold of a bottle of the ?03 at a
?reasonable price? (it can be rightly argued that none of these wines
are sold at reasonable prices) and we put it away in the cellar.
Yesterday was our anniversary, and seemed like a great excuse to try
the wine. The wine was opened and decanted for about hour before
tasting, and served with a fantastic ?London broil? that had marinated
for a few hours, and was then grilled over gas flame to a perfect rare
center. Served with grilled zucchini (touched with olive oil and fresh
oregano) from our garden and a caprese salad (fresh tomatoes from that
same garden, of course!)
The first impact of the wine was oak. Lots of it. I?ve smelled less
oak by sticking my nose into a new barrel. After more air (maybe
another hour or two), the fruit characters of the wine started to come
through the oak, but in my not-so-humble opinion, the wine is
over-oaked (a complaint I find myself leveling at many high priced New
World style Cab / Cab blends these days). But the fruit character,
once revealed, is rich with notes of red fruit and something almost
spicy ? maybe licorice, maybe coffee.
The wine is smooth and full in the mouth. Balanced, with good acid
across the palate, but a little less finish than I might have desired.
Tannins are there, but smooth. Lots of mouthfeel.
The wine will probably benefit from another couple years in the
cellar. But I?m not sure that the overabundance of oak will ever
mellow enough for my tastes. The wine is delicious, and complemented
the beef well. Aside from the oak, I?d describe the wine as excellent.
But the price is far too high. I can get what I believe to be equal or
superior Cab blends here in California, of very similar style, for a
fraction the price.
A very nice wine, slightly flawed with over oaking, but not a value.
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AxisOfBeagles

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