As part of the Wineberserker Virtual 2007 Napa Cab tasting. Also posted in that thread.
2007 Lewelling Cabernet Sauvignon- USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena (10/29/2010)
Color is more red than black. Opaque. The nose has a sweet cherry and vanilla wrapped red currant quality. Palate has explosive reddish black fruits with cherry first and foremost, then some raspberry and sour cranberries. Oak is a bit elevated as is the alcohol in the form of dry finish. Very awkward and blowsy, this really fits what I had expected of it for the vintage. These are somewhat flamboyant in a classic year, in 07 this is 4 fold. I wish I could wrap my palate around it. Maybe 10 years might help, but I could also imagine it not. I could imagine it drying up and fading away. Elevated is the word of the day. Too bad. Solidifies my position on the vintage. Yes, my name is Mike and I am a naysayer.
Interesting comment on it seeming blowsy and awkward. I opened one a few weeks ago and thought it showed as a pretty solid and compact young wine with promise would show - perhaps a bit awkward as a young wine would be right after popping the cork but seemed to have decent balance at the end of the evening… Needed a bit of air to unwind but at least for me was screaming not to be touched for a while. I thought there was excellent potential in this one and I thought it should make for an incredible QPR after another year or few in the cellar (paid under $40 and have not tasted a cab recently in that price range that even came close).
I find that most lean toward the bright and flamboyant style whereas I enjoy a more classically structured wine from vintages such as 2001 and 2005 and to a slightly lesser extent, 2006. I like 2006 for its combination of both styles actually.
See, and what’s funny is that '01 is hands down my favorite (recent) Napa vintage. I find '07 to be a hypothetical blend of '01 and '02. I find the '02s, in general, to be flamboyant and showy and I’m concerned about their age-ability. The '07s I’ve had (Drinkward, HL cab and EII, Affinity, KL, Maybach) - I think they’ll do well with bottle age, much like the '01s have.
I find the 02s wonderful, but ‘fatter’ than those around it, next in the ‘fat’ line is 04.
I don’t find 07s fat, just flamboyant and loud.
Overall I am not sure of 07s age-ability, as I never was with 97s either.
Will be fun to watch.
Ok, I vacuvin’d the remainder in a 375 and put it in the fridge.
24 hours later:
This has gained some weight since yesterday. Some darker fruits have emerged, but the alcohol is still there in a big way. Usually a little extra alcohol does not bother me. This must be more than a ‘little more’.
All in all its better. Much better. If I tasted this last night I would not have thrown it under the bus, just a cab.
So maybe my theory is full of holes. Maybe those with these in their cellars might be rewarded in 10+ years. Maybe I will wake up a lotto winner too.
If I had to score this, it would be an 88/89
Now where is that thread about watering back… oh no I didn’t!
Mike- I’m a fan of Lewellings but am a little iffy on the more recent vintages. I looked at my notes on the 05 regular cab. I did not like the first few I tried, our of balance and too much heat. My last one was earlier this year and it was the best showing. Much more in balance and the heat was gone. A recent regular 04 was very good and their classic profile.
I am hopeful that these will be the same and won’t open one until 2012.
Ok, curiosity got the best of me so I went out a grabbed a bottle of this today. Just now opened a dumped into the decanter and poured off a small taste. Initial thoughts - very typical Lewelling nose and palate. Heat was noticeable, but it’s probably a bit warmer than proper serving temp. Headed out trick or treating with my daughter soon, but will report back in a couple hours after it’s had some air.
Well, I decanted this for about 4 hours and consumed over the course of another 2 or so. To me, this wine is very typical Lewelling but just so darn primary at this point its really hard to say anything. It’s definitely nowhere near as showy as the '06 bottling was at this point in its life but I have absolutely no reason to believe this wine isn’t going to be great.
Once it cooled down a couple degrees, the heat was totally in check and I didn’t notice it all over the course of the evening. If anything, I’d say the oak was slightly more pronounced in this wine than in past vintages, but far from out of balance.
I know I mentioned I’d open a Wight, but after tasting how balled up the regular cab is now, I think I’ll refrain.
Very happy to have a decent cache of this and the Wight in my cellar.
I am a Lewelling fan, nearly a groupie. The basic 06 is one of my favorite 06s and I love that vintage. I am finding myself drawn to the 07 Napa Cabs that are blacker and grittier and less all about the fruit. This wine really perplexed me tonight. I found the nose a little off-putting. A first for me with any Lewelling. (I have had the 01-06s, regular and Wights). After a few hours, I know the black fruit bottom that I associate with Lewelling is here, but there’s something else…like somebody smeared jam on it. I really believe this will pass with time and will put these aside for a bit. Too much darned sunshine on that Napa valley floor?
NOSE: DAY 1: fumey; very ripe blackberry and boysenberry. DAY 3: big; oaky; concentrated.
BODY: dark garnet-violet color; medium-full bodied.
TASTE: DAY 1: oaky; very alcoholic, but some nice fruit behind the oak and alcohol — blind, I would probably guess mountain fruit; continued to be too big/soft/gloppy/alc. for my preferences, as the evening progressed. DAY 3: still too much apparent alcohol (it is labeled at 15.8% abv); oaky; bummer what Lewelling did to this vintage. My score is probably a couple points generous. Drink Now.