The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 92

24 / the tasting panel / november 2009 W hen it comes to ultra-premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvi- gnon, here's a reminder that no singular style reigns supreme. The results of a ten-city comparative tasting organized by Merryvale Vineyards revealed a marked difference in the preferences of East Coast and Midwest sommeliers, buyers and trade press from those of their peers in the West. The tast- ing included two flights from the 2006 vintage, one of varietal Cabernets and one of Cabernet blends. "It's fun and educational to taste to taste some of the Napa Valley's best with top sommeliers, restaurant and fine wine shop owners in a blind setting," said Merryvale Presi- dent René Schlatter. At the Napa tasting, Mer- ryvale's Profile, an elegant blend of lean black fruit with cola notes, fine tannins and a lengthy, focused finish, landed squarely in the mid- dle of the pack, ranking third out of the five wines tasted. East Coast cities like New York and Boston ranked Profile first among the top blends, which included those produced by Dominus, Caymus, Phelps and Quintessa. "It is interesting to see that different palates gravitate towards different wine styles," observed Schlatter. "Some wines were more elegant and some were riper, yet they were all very well made." Merryvale winemakers Sean Foster and Graham Wehmeier blend lots from their hillside St. Helena Estate vine- yard, Stagecoach and the ToKalon vineyard for Profile. In the Cabernet flight, Merryvale's Napa Valley Cabernet was (for this taster) the ripest of the four wines being compared, including those from Groth, Cakebread and Duckhorn. Showing rich blackberry, complex tannins and an expressive mineral finish, Merryvale blends estate fruit from their hillside sites above St. Helena and singular Napa vineyards for this signature Cabernet. —Deborah Parker Wong A Matter of Preference Merryvale Vineyards finds that palates differ from coast to coast Profile, the winery's signature Bordeaux blend, is tops with East Coast palates. Silhou- ette is its proprietary Chardonnay sibling. René Schlatter, President of Merryvale (seated), and winemaker Graham Weh- meier tabulate the results of a compara- tive tasting held at the St. Helena winery. Marian op de Haar, Wine Director for Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, is in the background. PHOTO: DEBORAH PARKER WONG Coast to Coast

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - Nov 09