Welll done! 2007/08 Relic

On Friday as part of Premier, Mike & his wife Schatzi were pouring the Relic line-up at the Shiverick Jones tasting. I had never had the chance to taste through the line-up, so I bellied up (if you’ve ever been to this tasting, you know how crowded it can get) and got to work. Glad I did, as along with Hourglass, this was the most complete and impressive line-up top to bottom I tried all week.

2008 Relic ‘The Sage’ – 44% Chardonnay, 22% Viognier, 22% Roussanne, 12% Marsanne
The entry is all Chardonnay, full bodied, wide. Right to the midpalate, where it goes to the back and the Rhone varietals kick in. It lifts, gets floral, lighter on its feet. Along with the Lail ‘Georgia’ SB, the best white wine of the week, for me.

2008 Relic Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Earthy, forest floor, damp on the nose – calling cards of cooler, true Sonoma Coast Pinots. Rich in mouth, with good structure, this has better mouthfeel than most. Very enjoyable, not sure how much it cost, but for SC Appellation wines, it’s in the same class as a Rivers Marie.

2008 Relic ‘The Ritual’ – 46% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 18% Syrah, 6% Petite Syrah
As far as I can remember, this is the only bottling of Relic I’ve had. I remember enjoying it in the past (I’m assuming I had prior vintages, not sure of Relic’s release schedule) and this time is no different. Wide & dark, palate coating. Rhone-ish aromatics, hint of floral, this is fantastic drink. Great acidity, no noticeable tannin - all the parts really seem to play well together and have an idea of what they are doing. Wonderful palate weight, not fatiguing like some Napa Rhones can be.

2007 Relic Alder Springs Syrah – 95% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre
I know people hate it when someone compares a New World wine to an Old World one. Well, I’m going to do it. This is a Northern Rhone styled wine. Bloody, iron & Cornas are the first 3 things I wrote down. Long and lean, least fruity of the line-up, but that is not a knock. A style I wouldn’t/couldn’t drink everyday, but one I would be very happy to have at the ready.

2007 Relic Artefact – 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petite Verdot, 2% Syrah
To be honest, I didn’t know Mike made a Cab under the Relic label. Balanced, elegant & precise. Not what I would consider to be a typical in-your-face Napa Cabernet. This one could get away from you as it isn’t as forward and flashy as you might expect. The flavor profile is hard for my neatherthal palate to describe, as my notes seem to be all over the place. I have floral, but I have dark fruit as well. Either way, a wine I’d like to spend some time with, not for cocktail hour chugging.


It was great to meet you at this event!

I agree that the Relic wines showed very well at this tasting. Very interesting blends, both reds and the white.


Great notes, William.
Wonderful people making world class wine indeed.

Did you not taste the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Relic Rockledge Vineyard? Amazing and pure. Yes indeed, Relic makes Cabernet!!

Thanks. I’m lucky to live in Napa and enjoy sharing my findings. I know not everyone agrees with my impressions, but hopefully they help on some level.

Mike wasn’t pouring the Relic Rockledge. I’m going to have to send him a WTF email! I remember trying and liking the Rockledge wine he made for Rockledge, so hmmmm…

I can assure you, the Rockledge Cab is VERY good. I had it a few months back.

My only question – what would this pair with? Would it work with a salad/appetizer? Is it just a warm weather sipper? I guess I’m inside the box as I like to pair my wines with something and I wouldn’t know when to pull this one, other than sometime when I just want something really good.

I’m pretty sure we had the Sage with a diver scallop dish at the Mike Hirby Dinner here in NYC last fall. Phenomal pairing. Any type of succulent seafood (scallops, langustines, prawns, lobster, crab) would be a great match.

He was only pouring what is currently available. The Relic Rockledge hasn’t been released yet.

I might know of one or two people who already have a bottle in their cellars… [highfive.gif]

Am I on the right, or left? [thumbs-up.gif]