This was a terrific evening with the Boulder crew focusing on Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The majority of the wines were brought by an incredibly gracious member, and we all drank with gusto.

The food was classic bistro fare and you can’t go wrong with roasted chicken and grilled steak when it comes to red wine. Ample French fries also help.

We started with the oldest wines and worked our way to the younger wines.

The 1977 Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon was recently purchased on for a massive thirty bucks, and it way over delivered. Sporting a healthy, vibrant color as well as classic notes of sweet Cabernet fruit, cedar and forest floor, it’s a gorgeous red drinking at point. The 1999 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon has morphed into a beautiful, classic styled Cabernet that has lots of dark fruits, graphite and nicely integrated oak. It took some coaxing, so give it a decant if drinking anytime soon. The 2002 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is about as classic as they come, and while it was tannic and structured when I first opened the bottle, an hour in a decanter helped soften the edges. Still, it’s just now getting to the early stages of maturity.

We then moved to a flight of 2007s, which is a great vintage for Napa Valley. The 2007 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Lotus Vineyard offered a solid kick of volatile acidity, as well as some dry tannin on the finish, yet offered huge amounts of fruit and texture. I could do without the VA, but there’s still plenty to love, and I’d gladly drink a bottle. In contrast, the 2007 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Helms Vineyard is a sensational, sexy, voluptuous beauty that ticks all the check boxes. Coming from a site formerly known as the Livingston-Moffett Estate, it has a perfumed, exotic, yet powerful and concentrated style that glides across the palate. It’s a heavenly wine.

Another killer wine is the 2007 Futo, which is 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot. Showing classic Bordeaux variety characteristics of currants, flowers, incense, violets and lead pencil, it doesn’t put a foot wrong on the palate and is an incredible, lengthy, concentrated wine that has another two decades of life. Last of the 2007s, the 2007 Maybach Materium (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) comes all from a hillside vineyard in Oakville. It’s a perfumed, lifted, almost port-like beauty that isn’t for those craving Bordeaux style aromas and flavors, but packs serious fruit.

I thought the stars of the evening were the 2012s from Futo. The 2012 Futo Estate (72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot) is borderline perfection and offers incredible notes of cassis, tobacco leaf, lead pencil shavings and earth to go with blockbuster aromas and flavors. Tighter, backward and just slightly more concentrated, the 2012 Futo Cabernet Sauvignon 5500 (it includes 6% Merlot) is pure perfection in a glass. Crème de cassis, blueberries, spring flowers and hints of violets and graphite give way to a sensationally concentrated, perfectly balanced Cabernet that has a stacked mid-palate and a finish that won’t quit. You can safely drink this beauty anytime over the coming 3-4 decades. Lastly, the 2012 Maybach Materium is a perfumed, exotic, incredibly sexy Cabernet Sauvignon that offers full-bodied, exuberant and ripe aromas and flavors that just float over the palate. It’s another tour de force Cabernet from this awesome vintage that’s beautiful today, yet has another two decades or more of longevity.

We finished the tasted with a perfect dessert wine, the 1995 Cuvee Madame from Chateau la Gravière. I’ve been lucky enough to have this cuvee multiple times and it never fails to deliver and was a perfect cap to a great evening.


By Jeb Dunnuck
Founder & Wine Critic
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