So last weeks Wine of the Week I told you about a great tasting event I attended at the new Sixty Four Wine Bar in Naperville. I also mentioned that the following day I attended a second tasting that rivaled the first. This time around the focus wasn't on Italian wines but on what might be considered a crossover event.
"What's that," is what I know you're asking yourself (did I tell you that I'm psychic, or is that psychotic?). Interestingly the tasting was being promoted by Chateau St. Michelle winery. Master Sommelier, Rob Bigelow, from Saint Michelle conducted the tasting which included wines from a partnership with Marchesi Antinori (there's the crossover with Italian wines) and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars.
First up were the Chardonnay and Cabernet from Antica winery. This is Antinori's Napa Valley winery, and while Napa wines, I felt that they both had a slight edge of an old world style wine. Slightly drier on the finish and more muted fruit. Both excellent wines.
Next up was the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23. This is Stag's Leap premier bottling. A blend of grapes from their Fey and S.L.V. (Stags Leap Vineyard) vineyards. Made from 100% Cabernet grapes and aged for 21 months in New French Oak barrels, this was a massive and age-worthy wine. Still in its infancy, one sip and I could tell this was a fantastic wine. Garnering 99 Points from Robert Parker, it was all of that. Rich dark fruit with a long lingering finish. My only wish is that I could have stayed longer to see how much more the wine would develop upon opening. One last item I wish to point out is that you not confuse this winery with Stags' Leap Winery. (Note the placement of the apostrophe - and the difference between Wine Cellar and Winery). Two different wineries!
Last up was the Antinori 2013 Solaia. A true "Super Tuscan" produced from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cab Franc. Aged 18 months in 100% New French Oak, this wine has slightly more Old World charm. The dark fruit revealing itself with slightly more earthy notes. Still a long, slightly drier, finish than the Stag's Leap. Like the Nebbiolo's from last week, this is a wine that will only improve with cellaring. 97+ Points from Wine Advocate as well as one or two others rating services, confirms the quality of this wine.
So what was the verdict? I have to give a slight edge to Stag's Leap. When my lottery winning check gets to me, I'd actually buy both. At over $200 for each, I had to be content with a taste this time.
Lastly, kudos to Sixty Four Wine Bar for another excellent tasting and for their support of the tasting fees going to P.A.D.S. As I mentioned last week, you may want to "Like" their Facebook page and watch for upcoming tastings.