2009 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard- USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena (2/11/2013)
2 hr decant. Bold expressive nose of blackberry pie, plums, cedar and tobacco notes. Chewy dark fruits on the palate with sweet cedar, bittersweet chocolate and spice. Gripping tannins on a long finish. (93 pts.)
Nice note, Bob. This wine reveals many levels of greatness as it sits in the decanter, but that is the problem, it never lasts. it could really do with a slow-ox for 24 hours or double decant 8 hours in advance.
Thanks for sharing.
With descriptors like “bold,” chewy," and “gripping,” I’d be inclined to wait a few years, too. My palate tends to appreciate when those characteristics smooth out a bit. But the King likes 'em big, so there you go.
Bob, that’s the problem, these wines are too tasty in infancy and who’s to say what better is?
Lets delve a bit more, here is my note:
7/21/2012 rated 95 points: Opaque dark red color. Dense looking. Edges are purple tinged. Nose shows cocoa powder, black raspberry with a hint of strawberry. The palate shows a very serious, slightly hi-toned wine that expresses much breed; intense chocolate covered black raspberries, blackberries and plum pumice. A medium weight wine with fantastic balance and delivery. Some brightness interjects itself as well. The mouth feel is pure and simply incredible. There sits within hints of cola, cassis and soy. I also get the most interesting level of minerality which I do enjoy in small doses. Finish is long and true. What I like is the overall feel to this and yes, it’s certainly young, this would benefit from at least two years in the bottle. TRB’s signature is all over this one and as close to a baby Schrader as I have ever had; a style which I prefer more and more. Good for me………
After about three hours this has turned into something totally different. It has shed its youthfulness and garnered tremendous fullness and roundness. It’s more cool blue in fruit style now and the brightness is gone and it now resembles Maybach Amoenus in a big way; so much so I had wondered if Panek is actually Chris’ fruit source for Amoenus. I went to the Maybach site for my answer: ‘from a hillside vineyard on the Western side of Calistoga’, so no, it’s not.
But it is now an easy 95 points. (was 93) (1974 views)
Now, if I wait 5 years and find the cocoa powder/black raspberry and minerality combo gone (you too found cocoa), I will be disappointed as I will if the blue fruits (which you found too) go missing. the fullness and roundness attract me too. Sure, tertiaries could be nice, but better than what we have today? Certainly different. That’s why I will never wait too long. better to have loved than almost loved and nothing sadder than love lost.
I couldn’t agree more regarding the aging of the wines. The benefit of any tertiary adds, to my palate, is often more than offset by the loss of those big bold flavors that transition from one to the next (seamlessly in these well made wines) to more subtle, melded flavors (which I’m sure some people might prefer and have their place) 3-10 years is usually my happy place for Cal cab and syrah (98% of my cellar)
I have found older wines interesting for the added flavors and aromas, but for the most part not better.
I also agree with your note regarding how the wine noticeably transitions from bright hi toned fruit to really gaining weight and roundness as it evolved, it was quite a change body wise.