TN: TN: Old Cabernet and Young Mourevdre (plus two Rieslings and a Champagne)


Tasting at my place. All wines were opened about 90 minutes before we started the tasting, but not decanted.

Steve Gellman brought along a 2008 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses that we sipped on while gathering. Delicious stuff that had a fantastic toasty note on top of copious citrus fruit. Bonus points for Laura loving it! Thank you @Steve_L_Gellman .


Older Cabernet

  • 1994 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
    Very much alive at age 29, and also quite elegant. Red fruit, a little bit of spice and vanilla, but not at all overbearing like the Napa can be. Tobacco and earth accents - just lovely. Drink up, but enjoy doing so. This is fully resolved, and ready when you are.
  • 1994 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Like the '94 Silver Oak served alongside this is ready to go, while also being more distinctly Cabernet, as it has hung on to a bit of structure to supplement the mature fruit and earth tones.
  • 1994 Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon RĂ©serve SpĂ©ciale - USA, California, Sonoma County
    I last had this wine 17 years ago, and it was getting to maturity then. It's still mature, and what a lovely drink. Mellow red and black fruit, just a trace of tannin, and earthy, smoky, meaty (almost Syrah like) elements made this the most complete of four 1994s served together. This one is on cruise control.
  • 1994 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Anniversary Release - USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    The richest of four 1994 Cabernets served side-by-side, this also showed a bit of heat until it had been open for an hour or so. Then it settled into a still fruity groove, with some oak and a high-toned, structured finish. It has the depth to continue aging, but not sure it has the balance for it.

Young Mourvedre

  • 2019 Halcon Vineyards Mourvèdre - USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands
    First of four young Mourvedre wines served side by side, and this was the brightest, with some cranberry edges to the deep red fruit, and also a high toned spiciness. The more air it got the better. I still have a few bottles, and will try to let them rest a while.
  • 2019 Carlisle Mourvèdre Radiant Ridge - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    Second of four young Mourvedre wines served together, this was the most immediately ready to go, and showed all the dark fruit, earth and savory character that I expect and love from the grape. A little tight on the finish perhaps, so if you have more (I don't), give them a couple of years to evolve.
  • 2019 Desire Lines Mourvèdre Experimental Series #4: Fred Rides Again - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Contra Costa County
    A little more than two years from my prior bottle, this was the third of four young Mourvedre wines served side by side. Opened, like everything else for the tasting, about 90 minutes before we started, it had opened up and was immediately earthy, savory, brothy like a good stew, but made from fruit. Moderate tannins on the back end, and in good balance. Held on to some of this for the next evening, and it was still very fresh and even more savory. Two bottles left of this, and wish I had ten!
  • 2017 Once & Future Wine Mataro Oakley Road Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Contra Costa County
    The last of four young Mourvedre wines served side-by-side, this was almost like a barrel sample. So much fruit that it was a bit of a shock following three more savory wines. Going back to it the next evening it was still forward, and sweetly fruity, but some additional elements started to poke through. Very surprising showing that will have me burying my other bottles for a while.

Back in the day, I bought a bunch of those exact same old Cabs from Wine Library (I lived fairly close by)…I have fond memories of drinking them, thanks for the reminder!

Now that…is an awesome night!! Great selection of wines my friend! Glad that you enjoyed them!

Every wine had something to make it stand out.

The one thing that I did think about and eventually say that night, is that I believe Mourvèdre is the best red grape for many locations in California right now.


Sounds like a fun night.
I like old Beringer PR. Reliable performer.