Monday, February 18, 2008

Thomas and Vaughan 2002 Cabernet Franc

(Found - February 2008)

I've had a bad back of late, must be all that snow shoveling I’m doing - makes you wish you'd chosen condo living instead of home ownership; so tonight I needed relief. Looking at my wine racks I saw a long neck bottle calling out to me, it was a 2002, Thomas & Vaughan Cabernet Franc - I thought to myself, "I could use a little TLC from the likes of Dr. Thomas and Dr. Vaughan" - so let's see if they can make this house call memorable. I sunk the corkscrew into the wax top covering the cork and pulled up ... Yikes, plastic cork! That could be trouble. My first smell and taste were plasticy. I dumped my glass and tried again. A nose of spices, leather, cloves, blackberries and allspice - the tannins in the mouth were rich, the flavors were cassis, blueberry skins, a vanilla-cinnamon mixture and fine oak. Pretty impressive ... fifteen minutes later something happened. I had misplaced my glass as I began doing something else and when I came back to it I found juicy, ripe blackberries, a touch of cedar, silky smooth tannins and a touch of cocoa on the finish; the nose had also developed some sweet tobacco. Very impressive … another 25 minutes past. Now I have a real quaffer on my hands - it's smooth, soft, luscious and head-tiltingly good ... seems like I hit the sweet spot on this one, best of all, looks like I have another bottle on the racks. Lost and Found Rating: Treasure.

Thirteenth Street Winery 2002 G. H. Funk Vineyard Cabernet-Merlot

(Found - February 2008)

Here's what happens when you pair a great vintage (2002) with a cult winery known for making great, much sought after wines (13th Street). A few years back I bought this bottle of wine for under $20 - today I looked like a genius for picking up two, though I feel like an idiot for opening it so soon. That's the thing about wine that’s so vexing, when is the perfect time to open it? If you open it too soon or too late there's no way to get the genie back in the bottle, so to speak. This Cab-Merlot has not finished ageing, but it is coming along beautifully. Upon first open the smells were black fruit and licorice, twenty minutes later herbs and pencil shavings joined in the fray. The taste showed great complexity with each passing fifteen minutes ... spices, herbs, anise, nutmeg, a bit chewy through the mid-palate with just a touch of graphite. The tannins can best be described as slightly gritty - smooth through the mouth, but with a dry cocoa-like finish that leaves a little bite behind. If I had another bottle I'd lie down for another two years - maybe more. Lost and Found rating: Treasure … only going to get better.