This week’s “Wine of the Week” stirred many thoughts about wine reviews and reviewers. That’s sort of a problem as “I be one of them.”
The cause for my trepidation happened when I started looking at reviews on this week’s wine:
Rombauer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Fortunately, most of my research was done AFTER I started drinking the wine. I won’t tally on the reviews except to say that I do understand that wines can have things like bottle variations not to mention a reviewer’s personal taste. It did get me thinking that since reviewers usually know some specifics about a wine (region, grape, vintage, etc.) that another issue may be that one or more factors may enter into “expectations.” The 2016 Vintage in Napa Valley is a good example.
I have high hopes for wines from that region and that vintage; favorable weather being high on the list. So when I sit down with a wine from that vintage do I also set up certain “expectations” for that wine? Am I not expecting to be amazed, swept off my feet and ready to plunk down whatever I need to obtain that wine? So when I see scores that might not reflect certain greatness, I wonder why.
Such is the case for this wonderful Cabernet from Rombauer. From the moment I popped the cork, the wine assailed me with aromas that I could have picked up from what seemed like across the room, rich dark berry fruit that lingered. A few moments and a few swirls to allow the wine to open, and I take my first sip. Again, that darker berry and rich fruit that combined with certain rustic qualities; but not so much as to mask the fruit. Softer tannins create a mellow finish to this medium to heavy-bodied wine. The 16 months of French Oak aging in 80% new oak contributing to that weight. While I do sometimes like wine with slightly more tannin, this effort is worthy of a generous score, easily 92 or 93 in my book. Click here for more technical notes.
Coming up on its 40th Anniversary, and still family run, Rombauer has established itself as a mainstay for quality and consistency, lending itself to appear on practically every wine list out there. Even though Cabernet was the first wine they produced, they are known equally as well for their Zins (see my review of their Zin here) and even more so their Chardonnay.
So this is my review of this wonderful wine.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!