2012 $50 California Cab-off

6 of us did a blind tasting of 4 well rated Cabernets tonight at Farm & Fisherman in Philly. The wines:

2012 Adaptation
2012 Ridge Estate
2012 Chappellet Signature
2012 Beringer Knights Valley Reserve

All corks were popped this morning and all bottles were kept open the whole afternoon. No decanting, just slow-O.

Let me say right up front that a WB darling didn’t fair very well. Only one person of the 6 voted Ridge first, one other placed it second, three put it third, and one ranked it last. We did notice it opened up a bit if left in the glass for an hour, and a couple of us do think it has aging potential. Still, not something to brag about.

The top finisher was Chappellet with 3 first place votes and 3 second place. Next came the Adaptation with 2 first place votes, 2 second place votes, and 2 third place votes. Ridge slid in after that with a significant difference between the top 2 finishers, and the Beringer brought up the rear with only one person not ranking it last - and that person voted it next to last.

Honestly, I expected the Beringer to fall as flat on it’s face as it did. A few of our ‘judges’ have had wine tasting classes and are Bordeaux nuts so it wasn’t a stretch to see a wine like a Beringer not pass muster. It’s also not much of a surprise that the Chappellet ranked high - I just didn’t expect it to win over such a highly recommended wine by members of this forum according to this thread:

Anyway, it was quite an interesting night. We all agreed to do a 90’s theme for our next dinner. One of the women has a '97 Zin she’s dying to share.

On a semi-related note, does anyone want to swap for 3 bottles of 2012 Ridge Estate? [wink.gif]

The 2012 Ridge Estate needs plent of time and it, IMO, had no business being in the flight.

You could say that about any of the 4.

Dennis - Thank you for the notes. I wonder if a double decant of each of the wines a couple hours before the dinner would have improved things? - John

I’d wager that the Ridge love in that thread is aimed towards Monte Bello.

Chappellet Signature is definitely a solid wine for the price, not surprised to see it show well.

That’s very possible, especially since 3 of the 4 did get better in the glass - most notably the Ridge.

I’d like to try an older vintage of Ridge Estate to see for myself how well it performs after some age.

Yep, it’s a staple at our house. [cheers.gif]

There has been a lot of love for the estate Cab, too, especially in the last couple months.

Anyway, IMO, it’s quite possible—frankly I’d guess probable—that the Ridge will come around to be a superior wine. But right now, on this night, it wasn’t. I’m a fan, and I can live with that.

Also, I’m not surprised that the Beringer didn’t keep pace, but it’s somewhat ironic in that it is the only one meant for early drinking.

Chappallet Signature works in our house…

I had an '07 Chappellet ‘Signature’ a few days ago and thought it was excellent. Made me decide I should lay a few '12s and '13s down.

That’s what the group is gonna find out. I’m not buying any more Beringer, but I have 3 more bottles of both Adaptation and Ridge along with plenty of Chappellet (both the Signature that we drank for the test and their higher end Pritchard Hill). In 2 or 3 years, the group will try the 3 blind again, then after a few more years pass we’ll do another blind on those 3 bottles, and finally the last blind tasting of the 3 almost a decade from now.

… yes, we’re that silly and yes, I will remember. Might even bookmark this thread.

Brought a mag of '05 to one of our wine club dinners and it didn’t make it to the end of the night. [cheers.gif]

Looking forward to the notes!

2012 $50 cab off part deux


…and the Ridge Estate caught up!

Interesting results on the Chappellet. When I last had it in 2018, it needed much more air than it did when I had it in either 2015 or 2017. It took air after pouring through a Vinturi on night 2 to get to the point where it was as open as it was on PnP the two previous times.

What a great follow-up! Interesting to have folks thoughts confirmed and also see in real life the changing bottle dance through time. Fun.

Nice to see the evolution of the wines. Although I have my next few dinners already planned. think it would be a blast to do a $100 cab off and a $200 one also. I would be curious to see if our board darlings do indeed edge out their peers. The $100 version I will do in early spring.