Friday, June 14, 2013

26 Year Old Napa Cabernet

I just returned from a trip to visit friends in Illinois, drink some wine and visit a very good small restaurant.  The wine highlight of the trip is pictured above, a 1986 Raymond Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from the heart of the Napa Valley.  The wine had a special meaning for us as we were all part of a group that visited Raymond in the year this wine was made. 

I'm always cautious with a Napa Cabernet this old, and to that point I took a back up bottle in case this one was over the hill.  The backup bottle still has its cork and foil intact.

The cork was in excellent shape and came out easy.  There was sediment in the wine so we did pass it through a fine mesh funnel.  The aromas of bright, happy cherries immediately poured out of the glass.  The was an undercurrent of cinnamon and faint aroma of earth and vanilla as well.  The color was just beginning to fade to orange on the edges but still retained a good degree of darkness at the center.  The wine was full bodied and mouth filling with cherries and currants leading the way.  The tannins were soft but well structured and the acid was still great. This tasted more like a ten year old wine than a twenty-six year old wine. 

Dinner was prime strip steaks from the grill and some gnocchi with sage and brown butter that paired perfectly with the wine.  Just an ideal combination.  Tremendous wine.

1986 Raymond Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.  13.6% alcohol. 

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