By far, this has been my busiest month in ages - tasting, pouring, writing, etc. The blog has had more hits this month than any other since I started it in January 2011 - March postings began with Finger Lakes vs. The World and it’s wrapping up today with one of my favorite California Cabernets. Thanks so much to everyone who has been taking the time to read my posts and tasting notes and musings!
It’s no secret that my palate tends toward Old World style wines. I’ve been spending time tasting wines from so many regions of Europe, particularly from lesser known regions and sometimes lesser known grape types. I get questioned regularly on why I spend so little time on American wines - my explanation is fairly simple - my palate prefers the expressiveness generally found in Old World style wines, reflecting the soil and weather patterns where the grapes were grown and the wines were produced. I also prefer low to medium alcohol content, and sometimes California wines are just a bit too high in alcohol for me, often over 14%. Also, Old World wines seem to pair best with my cooking. Yet another reason why I tend toward European wines is that it seems like a challenge to me to follow my reading and research with wines from each region or subregion - and some of the wines have been hard to find! Thanks to some exciting tastings I’ve attended this year, as well as the fascinating and extensive inventory at Lake Side Emotions Wine Boutique near where I live (I am SO fortunate to be near this wine shop), I’ve been able to locate lots of the wines I’ve been searching for. These regions include South West France, Savoie, Jura, Valle d’Aosta, Umbria, Basilicata, Franken, Mittelburgenland, Wagram, and so many others. The more I learn, the more questions that arise in my mind and on my palate, and that tasting journey has led me to wines from all around Europe.
This week, however, I had the crave for a big California Cabernet Sauvignon. I have several favorites from California, but one that’s been especially satisfying to me (especially at only around $25) is the Edge Napa Cabernet. There are some times that I want to deviate from the earthy Old World wines with lower alcohol content, and this was one of those times. Edge is a big wine with a big presence - and alcohol content at 14.8%. But the alcohol doesn’t throw off the wine’s balance at all. It’s got the ripe fruit characteristics expected from a Napa Cabernet, particularly cooked raspberry and some dark fruits, and it has the strong vanilla oak characteristics, as well as some herb, chocolate, coffee, and a bit of warm earth, and a hint of the “pencil shaving” note. The acidity is there, balanced nicely with the fruit, and considering the wine’s young age (it was the 2008 vintage), the tannins are remarkably smooth and not at all overpowering. Sometimes the tannins in California reds are a bit excessive for my palate, but not in the case of Edge. It’s so smooth, and the finish is long, and each time I have this wine, I enjoy it so much.
|2008 Edge Napa Cabernet Sauvignon|
There’s something about the presence of this wine that speaks to me as well. It’s kind of an Alpha Male in that section of my wine rack - big presence, big characteristics, big aromas, and put together in such a way that it demands attention but is in no way overpowering. And in some ways, I’d almost liken it to a genie in a bottle. I open the bottle and aromas come rushing out, filling the space around it and immediately drawing me to it, and it certainly does grant wishes - “Edge, I wish for something delicious, luscious, smooth, ripe, versatile, exciting, and reasonably priced.” And each time I open a bottle of Edge, the answer is, “your wish is my command.”
So while it’s true that I tend toward expressive wines from regions rich in wine history, generally Old World, there are some days when I need my fill of American wine!