When tasting Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, there is one important thing to keep in mind, get ready to mentally sort through the relative merits of all kinds of dark fruit combinations. Well maybe, because with wine tasting generalities and stereotypes, there are always exceptions.
Yep, as the many examples of vintners’ hard work coping with the 2010 vintage continues on, it looks like there are going to be even more exceptions. Maybe it’s time to toss out the wine rubber stamp for awhile and get down to evaluating these interesting “variations on a theme” for what they really are, non-conformists.
One of these that’s a little off the norm is Montoya’s Napa Valley Cabernet. There is certainly nothing really objectionable about it, but its peppery and dusty bouquet with a background of currant fruit is a lesson in experiencing right up front what many wine experts call “Rutherford Dust”. A good swirl and quick sniff is all you need to do.
So if you want to experience the dust for yourself, pick one of these up at Phoenix area Total Wine stores for about $18. Although this character is traditionally presented as a background contributor in expensive red wines (like Frank Family’s Winston Hill), this is a great opportunity to zero in on this particular aspect of a bouquet’s personality, just to understand what it’s all about.
Don’t misunderstand, this is a nice wine. In fact, all-in-all it’s on the light side and will work well with French Dip or Beef Cold Cut sandwiches. It has fine tannins, currants in the mouth, and a sultry acidity that many refer to as saline, making it perfect for many beef preparations.
The Montoya ’10 Cabernet is certainly a candidate for yet another “wine lesson learned”.