Every now and then there comes along a winery who just seems to “get it” – they fire on all cylinders and produce wines of such outstanding character that one can’t help but step back in a bit of awe.
Robert Young winery, located in Geyserville California, planted its vineyards in 1963 and has been making wine now for nearly four decades. It’s history dates back to 1858, when Robert Young first settled there – so it’s a real treat to be able to taste wines that come from such a relatively old pedigree by New World standards.
2007 Chardonnay – W.E.P. Rating: 95%
- Appellation: Alexander Valley in Sonoma County
- Grapes: Chardonnay, 100% Estate Grown
- Harvested: September 4-18, 2007
- Cooperage: 100% French oak, 40 % new barrels;
- Barrels 14 months.
- Fermentation: 100% in barrel
- Price: $40
Nose: Pineapple, mango, vanilla, marshmallows, meyer lemons and freshly baked bread.
Taste: Nice combination of clean chardonnay, butterscotch, vanilla and marshmallows. In fact, the finigh brings about a very nice complectity which incledes flavors of toasted marshmallows, pineapple and fresh mango. Beautiful finish – as if Chablis had a love-child with a new-world chardonnay that has both a sense of cleanness to it and the roundness that happens form proper oak – love it, recommend and would easily hit it again and again. If ever there was such a thing as an “OMG” Chardonnay, this would be it.
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon – W.E.P. Rating: 150%
- Appellation: Alexander Valley
- Variety: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot.
- 100% Estate Grown.
- Bottled: February 2008
- Cooperage: 100% French oak. 40% new barrels
- Production: 1,854 cases
- Price: $75 (Library price – still $58 at retail)
Nose: Marionberry, blueberry pie blackberry, leather, plums, tar and tobacco.
Taste: The initial “tongue-shock” of having such an incredible amount of layered flavors sends your palate right into ecstasy. The superb berry components have the perfect back-up of tannins and structure. The overall mouth-feel is spot on and the finish brings on layers of chocolate, cigar smoke, shoe polish and black-peppered blackberries. This is hands-down the best Cabernet Sauvignon I have ever tasted and if there was ever a wine worth $58 – this is it! The finish hangs around for years and leaves you begging for more – if ever there was a wine that could be compared to those in-laws you show up at your doorstep and wear out their welcome becaue they can’t pick up on non-verbal cues that it’s time to leave, it’d be this wine.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon – W.E.P. Rating: 100%
- Appellation: Alexander Valley
- Variety: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot
- 100% Estate Grown
- Bottled: February 2009
- Cooperage: 24 months in 100% French oak; 40% new barrels
- Production: 1459 cases
- Price: $58
Nose: Chocolate river-laden cherries, raspberries, red plums and raisins. Red clay, peppercorns, toboacco leaf and vanilla.
Taste: Very complex flavors of chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, red fruits galore – cherries and raspberries with a hint of peppered strawberry. The mid palate picks up with balanced acids, cigar wrapper, The finish lingers for weeks – and showcases a wine that has huge aging potential, drinks really well now and is a no-brainer for a special occasion Cab or one to pound with a nice, thick rib-eye steak with black peppercorns and blue-cheese.
On the web: http://www.ryew.com/