Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mountain Wine

One sure way to test the palate for complete recovery is to pop open a mountain wine from Napa Valley.  They are full of tannin and take some time to mature.  Since part of my palate problem was the production of less saliva than normal tannic wines have been a challenge since tannin seems more pronounced with less saliva.  

I opened a 2008 Mt. Veeder Winery, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, made with mountain grapes.   The cork came out about four hours prior to dinner and that proved a blessing.  The initial sip was pure tannin and not pleasurable at all.  By the time some beef stroganoff as ready the wine had changed dramatically.  The tannin seemed much less brutal.  There were wonderful aromas of earth and cedar and tobacco.  The flavors were not shy and full of dark berries with some red cherries for highlights.  The tannins were still strong but they were manageable.  With the food the tannins mellowed considerably and provided a structure to both the food and the wine.  They were quite good together.

I drank just less than half of the wine and poured the remainder back into the bottle for an overnight stay under vacuum.  The next day it accompanied some asparagus and Gruyere ravioli in brown butter sauce.  What a difference another twenty four hours made.  This wine was really singing some beautiful music on the second day.  The tannins were friendly and warm and the fruit was ripe and sweet.  This time it was a total joy.

I very much dislike putting numeric scores on bottles of wine. No need to go into the reasons for that here, so let me just say that if I were scoring this wine it would have scored significantly higher on day two. 

2008 Mt. Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon. 14.5% alcohol and $40.

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