Very nice wine. nice fruit, soft but still full body. really enjoyed the wine. tasted like a blend but is all Cab which surprised me. merill makes nice wines!
One of my favorites. That '09 is so friendly and approachable, without being too obvious or eschewing complexity.
wonderful person makes wonderful wine.
A big +1 on that
She visited us in Park City last winter and we shared a 2006 which was hitting on all cylinders. Highly recommend.
Overdue to have one. Need to check in on the 06 and will give the 09 a whirl as well. Anyone try the 09 Special Selection lately ? Loved it at our tasting in 2011 but have not opened any yet.
Had some when we visited Merrill last month, alongside the ‘regular’ '09. It was excellent.
As a regular reader and poster on this forum, of course I have seen this thread. Thank you to everyone for posting their comments. I think Mr. Jenny nailed it with very few words: "Very nice wine. nice fruit, soft but still full body. really enjoyed the wine. tasted like a blend but is all Cab which surprised me. "
I have shared wine in the last few days with some readers/posters here, and they may or may not post on the wines or their experiences. When asked what do I like of my line-up? My go to for some time now has been the 2009 “regular” Black Cat - the subject of the original post. This was the wine I offered in this year’s BerserkerDay. Very even, reliable, wide-audience appeal. Screaming Eagle at $75? No. BerserkerDay was 2/$125. Currently $75.
The 2009 Special Selection that Mr. Daner asked about is 2009+1. If I had inventory, I would drink this as regularly as the 2009 “regular.” And now for some updated thoughts:
2005 - showing very well. Likely at maturity, but not ready to fall off the cliff. But I would drink - and I am. This was a very naughty teenager and unreliable for some years. A lesson in the virtues of cellaring.
2006 - much the same window as the 2005. Drink or hold - in a lovely place.
2007 - this was my go to wine for years, and then (as with many 2007 Napa Cabernets), it receded and went off to regroup - perhaps that was 12-18 months ago? It has now come back online. It feels a bit different, but I would say it is more complex right now, where the 2009 is more simple and straightforward. Deeper, richer, more complex than the 2009 -CASSIS, to me. I loved it, and it was nice to taste it back in form again. Taster comments are in agreement with mine.
2008 - needs more decant time to show well. I gave them all 2-1/2 to 3 hours in the decanter, and it was the most changed/improved after more time in the decanter. Bigger, alcohol showing in the nose at first. Drink or hold - a lovable youngster. I’m holding.
2010 - this is essentially 2008 in a new jacket. Hold. It’s there, just disjointed. This enjoyed early outings late last year, but not the pop and pour friend of a year ago. Recommend hold.
2011s and Little Black - bottled later this year than most years. 3 weeks in bottle, and from a leaner vintage.
This is most like the 2009, with a well-warranted edge given to the Special Selection. I like this a lot, and as the supply of 2009 regular wanes, I am looking forward to this being my “go to.”
2012 - in barrel - what can I say? Lush, full, so much fruit that it is crazy. Another 10 months in barrel, though.
2013 looks good, hanging on the vines.
Sorry to be so verbose, but that’s the way I am.
Thanks for joining in with your thoughts Merrill. The 2009 is always enjoyable. Looking forward to the Little Blacks I have on the way and upcoming releases of the 2011 and 2012. I’ll need to consider picking up some of the older vintages to give them a go.
When we were visiting we drank (I believe) 05, 07 and 09. I went nuts for the 05.
Glad you like the 2009. I have some of each vintage from 2005-2010, although not everything is on the website. Send me a email and we can discuss.
Thanks Merrill for the update. great notes !
Good to hear the 07 is starting to open up again. When we tasted in 2011 with you it was a toss up for between that and the Special Selection.
Bill - did you decant in advance? I had been feeling that the 2009 showed better with a couple of hours of air, but the other days some other folks and I were messing around a bit, and the bottle where I pulled the cork and poured directly into the glass showed better than the one that had been open for 3 and more hours. Of course the fact that they were different bottles at all can account for some difference - the pop and pour bottle was a close cousin of the 2007 at that point! Interested to know how people are handling the 2009.
The floral component is quite prominent on this vintage, and I think it plays a role in supporting the brightness of the fruit.
Yep, the nose on that '09 is really alluring. When we had it side by side with the '09 Special Selection at your house, I remember being torn between the incredible bouquet of the ‘regular’ cuvée and the fuller body of the SS. Two terrific wines.
Merrill, who is your current winemaker?
That’s why one buys both.
Drinking one of these right now. Bill got it, nice note. Soft but full at the same time, bright red fruit is bursting but harnessed. Everything about it is balanced to me. I really like this.
Merrill - this was opened and poured immediately. Your post earlier got me curious. No air needed for me, this was great right away.
Well I guess I need to pull the trigger on some of these
And I guess the current recommendation is “pull it and drink it.” On Monday I will open 2005, 2007, 2009. And just because I like to torture myself, I will pull two bottles of 2009. One will get 2-3 hours in the decanter, and the other will be “up” so not cellar temperature, but the cork will be pulled and the wine immediately put in glass. I’ll report back, and perhaps my guests will as well. Yes I am a grower, producer, and vendor of wine. But first and foremost, I am a wine-lover and student.
Oh the mysteries of wine. And as soon as you have a vintage figured out, it goes off in another direction. Both my 2005 and 2007 have spent their time in detention hall, learning a new attitude.