Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Clos du Val Napa Cabernet 1992: 20+ years and yet still going strong!

I bought this Cab from the Weinhaus, downtown Asheville, NC, in 1994.  I don't even remember why I bought it but I'm sure I thought I would be drinking it well before 2013.  I didn't even have a wine cellar back in those days to properly store my wine.

Through all the moves, the former roommates, the wine nights I hosted, etc, etc - it didn't get opened.  I'm not sure how nor why it lasted with me all these years.  Perhaps it has something to do with my preference for Pinot Noir and I was just never in the 'mood' for it.  I guess it's just a survivor.

That's not all this basic Clos du Val Cab did though, it flourished as well.  I didn't really expect to say that about this wine at this point because I anticipated it being past its prime and possibly an old bottle of red wine vinegar.  Kudos to Clos du Val for creating a long living wine!

I brought my old friend out of the cellar last Saturday night when we decided to make wheat pasta with meat sauce for dinner.  I would typically grab a Sangiovese based wine or even my old stand by, Pinot Noir.  Since I was organizing my cellar data and reminded myself about this '92 earlier in the week, it made sense to finally open it and see how bad it was by now.  There were other bottles screaming to be opened as back up if this one met my prediction.

My first surprise was the cork.  It showed about a half inch of saturation while the top 3/4s were pristine - didn't see that coming!  With a little hope in my heart I showed my wife the cork and grabbed a glass for a taste.  Slowly pouring a few ounces without disturbing the sediment is always a fun challenge.

The wine was dark and garnet without much rim variation - in other words it didn't look its age.  It showed a dark berry, plum nose and seemed surprisingly fresh for a 20+ year old.  Relishing the smell I went in for my first taste and found black cherry and blackberry fruit smoothly integrated with fresh herb and a hint of tar.  The finish was a little flat but again surprisingly fresh for a basic Napa Cabernet of that age.

I love wine, even more I love being amazed by wines like this Clos du Val that out shines my expectations!

I hope you have wine revelations of your own that will keep your love of wine glowing bright!


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