Monday, May 10, 2010

Mazzocco and Caymus

The weather was a little cool and breezy yesterday afternoon, but the steaks and the wine more than made up for it.  It was a large gathering so the steaks were hand cut to order from  a large strip, thinner steaks for those in the crowd who liked well done, medium for those folks who wanted pink centers, and somewhat thicker for those of us who go the more rare route.

There were four wines and two of them stood above the others.  The first cork out was a 2005 Mazzocco Maple Vineyard Zinfandel from Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley.  The wine was as dark as midnight with no moon, stars, or other form of lighting to lighten any thing.  The nose was intense fruit, blackberries and black raspberries both completely and fully ripe.  With a little swirl it took some time for the wine's legs to run down the sides of the glass.  There was a lot going on in this wine.  The taste was amazing, let's call it blackberries on steroids.  The wine filled the mouth with ripe fruit and just a touch of tannin and left the mouth coated with that flavor.  There was a surprising amount of acid on the finish.  This was not a wine for the faint of heart, but it was so incredibly balanced that I found it difficult to complain about the 16.8% alcohol.  Still, I was happy there was a crowd to help drink this wine because as good as it was it quickly tired the mouth.  It did tend to overwhelm the steak a little with it's huge flavors.

The wine of the night was the 1997 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon.  Dark cherries, cassis, earth and moderate alcohol.  There was great acid and tannin and a perfect maturity to the wine.  Moderate fruit in the taste and a much more mature taste than the Zinfandel.  The finish was dusty and slightly smoky in all the good ways.  Superb with the steak.  Just a treat to drink, and the best part is that there is still a bottle left in the cellar.  It probably won't be there long.

The biggest disappointment of the evening was the 1994 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet, a wine long past its prime.  The fruit was cooked and stewed, the tannins harsh and the acid a little flat.  The last wine was a 2004 Reynolds Family Vineyards Cabernet from Napa.  It was a little underwhelming, but still better than the Beringer.

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