Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Friday, September 01, 2006

1997 Stag's Leap Cask 23 - Infanticide?

The last time I thought I committed infanticide was when I opened a bottle of 1966 Musigny Comte de Vogue in 1976. It was great, but so, so young at that point. I wished I had aged it at least another ten years. I'm not sure that opening the 1997 Stag's Leap Cask 23 nine years after harvest is quite the same kind of infanticide. When I first tasted it at the winery in 1999 it was gorgeously fruity with lots of finesse. Now the beautiful berry fruit is still there, but diminished by the more obvious acid and tannin. This reminds me of 1970 Bordeaux such as Palmer, Latour, and Mouton that were beautifully fruity at, say, six year of age and then went into a dormant adolescence only to emerge at age twenty with the vim and vigour and nuance of a full fledged complex adult. The 1997 Stag's Leap has great berry fruit flavors accompanied by obvious structure of acid and tannin - not unlike a Bordeaux. Is it any wonder that it won at the original Paris tasting that put California on the world wine map. The wine was great with Rack of Lamb and the cheese course that followed. What will it be like in ten years? Hopefully like Palmer, Latour and Mouton at twenty years.

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