Monday, January 11, 2010

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Napa Valley

I was going through the wines I have blogged and I noticed I haven't blogged much about Cabernet Sauvignon, one of my favorite grape variety. Napa Valley has become very famous in the recent years, and I am starting to notice the reputation is starting to reflect in the price. Finding a good Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at a good price is becoming harder and harder. This one is excellent for its price and can become even better with more aging. On the nose, it was textbook: currant, chocolate, dark plum, cedar (which means nice French Oak Barrel). Same on the palate, firm chewy tannin and high but balanced acid. The wine is distinctive and has big personality. I am curious in trying the 2002 version of this wine, which I bet would be even better.

For pairing, red lean meat, especially beef and most especially beef tenderloin. Because this wine has concentrated fruit note, I would pair it with a bittersweet dark chocolate, not too sweet but not too bitter as to overpower the wine. The cedar ash note in the wine would pair well with grilled or smoked food such as smoke salmon, squash. I am imaging Helen's smoked duck with grilled squash or eggplant with melted parmesan. Oh! Almost forgot, cheddar is another classic pairing for the wine. For a quality and intense wine like this one, go for a 5 year old raw milk cheddar. Appleby's Cheshire, Montgomery, Fiscalini are all excellent.

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