Napa’s close to my heart, where my wine bug began after visiting in the late 1980s, so it was good to see the Napa Valley Vintners Association back at the London Wine Fair last week. Heitz’s Trailside Cabernet ’05 immediately reminded me what’s exciting about the valley and of the fact that the old ones are often still the best. In this respect too there were good benchmark Napa Cabs from Grgich Hills, Chateau Montelena [actually tasted courtesy of Bancroft Wines], Silverado Vineyards, Cain and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.
Posts Tagged ‘2006’
Overall Bordeaux 2006 reds can be summed up as firm, quite strong, structured wines, but for me often a bit joyless. This was certainly my immediate impression having tasted ninety or so wines from the vintage at the Master of Wine Institute’s Annual Claret tasting that took place in the wonderfully oak panelled, if rather gloomy, Vintners Hall last week. The best wines had good structure, acid and enough flesh to make complex wine eventually but the best do need time in bottle. Even mature these will always be firm wines I reckon as in this vintage there is plenty of tannin, albeit it ripe and fine enough. There were also quite a few disappointments and the vintage is not consistent across all the appellations.
An isolated strip of red soil on the South Australian and Victorian border has for the past fifty years provided Australia with its finest Cabernet Sauvignon. Great Cabs do come of course from Western Australia’s Margaret River and also from Victoria but no region in Australia has consistently produced such fine Cabernet as Coonawarra. In that sense it is the ‘Medoc’ of Australia, if not necessarily in style, certainly in importance.