Monday, November 3, 2008

Small but mighty

This past Saturday night we had a party to try and make some room in out overtaxed cellar. It being fall I selected a number of big reds, Cabernets, Zinfandels and Bordeaux. The wines I had mot anticipated sampling were the two Cabernet verticals. The first from a small family producer Adams Ridge( and the second from a slightly larger producer Barnett ( We sampled the Adams Ridge at A Dozen Vintners in northern Napa since they did not have a tasting room of their own. We tried the 2002 vintage and were impressed enough to purchase a three year vertical consisting of 2001, 2002 and 2003. We sampled these first Saturday night and it was interesting the development of the wine that could be seen in the three vintages. The 2001 was the weakest perhaps because the vines were still developing. The 2002 was as good as I remembered it. and finally the 2003 built on the promise of the 2002 and added more complexity. They were all good and I will try to find some of their newer vintages to track the further development of this promising small winery, that only produces Cabernet. The Barnett was staggered Vertical made up of the 1992, 1996 and 1999 Cabernet from Spring Mountain District.
These were also all good wines, however the 1992 had lost a lot of fruit and for me this is a flaw. At the same time this is to be expected from a sixteen year old wine. The 1996 and 1999 each still had a good amount of fruit and confirmed my love of this fantastic winery, which probably has one of the best views in all of California. If you want to visit the winery you must call for an appointment, but it is well worth the effort. They are on Spring Mountain next to Pride. If you can find the Adams Ridge check it out I bet that it is even more lush and incredible in the more recent vintages. Barnett is more available, but a little pricey in the $70 range. Barnett also makes a fantastic Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Merlot, they are all really good and worth trying. Either is a treat and should be tried at least once, just for the experience.

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