Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Parker's words belie throwing an 89 at this wine. Is there cognitive dissonance between his otherwise glowing review and an 89?
This is an impressive Cabernet Sauvignon. The color is a dense ruby purple. The bouquet offers up tight but promising aromas of minerals, smoke, and black currants. A Bordeaux-like austerity greets the taster, but as with Bordeaux, there is plenty of density and concentration in reserve, which is particularly noticeable on the back of the palate. The wine is pure, promising, tannic, medium to full-bodied, and nicely extracted. Chewy tobacco, spice box, and black fruit characteristics emerge with airing. It is good to see this winery turn out a wine of this quality. It's an ager however, and patience will be required. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2018
Agreed, patience. The Chappellet is definitely good for another decade. I've another bottle and I'll wait. Patiently.
With the ensuing time in the cellar since Parker penned his review, the austerity and the need for decanting is gone. It is a rich wine, and paired with medium rare, mesquite grilled top sirloin and the smoked asparagus, it was excellent.
However, considering that 1997 was one of the three excellent 90's vintages for California Cabs, TWC expected a little more WoW. I wanted died and gone to heaven. I got pretty dang good. And here is precisely where the subjective comes into play. And if I've said it once.....
This is a fifty dollar wine in today's money. I've had twenty dollar wines that smoked it. I've had even more expensive wines that.....
Amphetamine Annie was a regular at the now-defunct 4th of July Bashes. She'd acquired a bit of a taste for red wine and one year Jim brought an expensive Bordeaux that wasn't ready yet (along with some other great wines). He and Kent and one or two others would hide the good wine from the Coors-swilling rabble and we'd sneak a glass here and there. Sometime during the afternoon, TWC called Annie off to the side.....
TWC: Want to taste a $100.00 wine?
Annie (enthusiastically): Yeah!
TWC: Okay, but keep your mouth shut.
I poured her some of that Bordeaux in a clean glass. She sipped.
Annie: HE PAID A HUNDRED BUCKS FOR THAT!!!??? (spits it back in the glass)
TWC: Shhhh! Shhhh! Shhhh! Shhhh! (LOL) Jesus Chrysler, would you shut up?
Amphetamine Annie? Ain't seen her in a while. Heard she quit shoveling snow, gained some weight, got off the booze (I'm gonna tell you what, she could drink YOU under the table, and right got dam now), quit smoking, found AA, Jesus, and a lover of the female persuasion. Wayne figured that was coming but he's gone and don't know.
Talk about the Tallahatchie Bridge. I'm with the much reviled Mr Hearst. Truth is stranger and far more interesting than fiction.