Last week a friend asked on the Wine Spectator forum if we were happy with how our older wines were turning out. It was a really hard question to answer and it took me a couple days to post a reply.
Most of what we drink ends up being the most current release. We're opening bottles at the winery or at events and pouring for people. We usually have a little taste, but it's rarely a good time to take notes, or even gather thoughts. Usually I'm answering a whole lot of questions about the wine. I also like to let people reach their own flavor conclusions so I'm not talking about the wines flavors, just about how it's made.
Even when those bottles make it home, or we open it at home, we rarely get to sit and savor a bottle. Usually we have people over and we're busy cooking or entertaining. I might get a glass and have just enough time to go; 'humm, not bad'.
Over the past week though we made an effort to pull out some older bottles and actually sit down to dinner with them and spend a little time enjoying them.
2006 Haut Tubee - Just Stefania and I over dinner last week. The wine is darker than I remember with a very Rhone like nose. This wine is more than 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, but the Rhone grapes still come through. It's also denser than I remember with ripe fruit and a spicy quality from the stems. Lots of fruit and very fresh finish.
We didn't plan on making this as a commercial wine in 2006, it was a bit of an after thought and even a month before bottling we were not 100% certain we'd put a label on it. I'm glad we did, it's turned out very well, and even at 4 years old passed my expectations.
2005 Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch. - Stef and I again over dinner. Wild wine, with a nose of ripe black fruit, bacon, smoke and spice. This is a 'fool your friends' wine. Throw it in a blind tasting, I bet no one can figure out where it's from. It's got a lot of ripe fruit but also a really wild spicy edge. Reminded me a lot of a Hermitage. In fact the next night we opened a 2001 Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage to compare the nose. I think people would say; 'well it's got the fruit of a California wine, but the nose is very Northern Rhone.' I'm sticking with my recommendation to pair this with lamb.
2007 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains. It's a fruit slut now. Tons of red fruit really explodes out of the glass. Strawberry, raspberry and bing cherry. There's also forest notes. 'Wet leafs on earth', Stef calls it. The nose is powerful and surprising given the wine is not that dark. We had this over dinner with a small group of friends who cooked for us. I think this wine will be really great with ham this spring.