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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