Wine Tasting: American Cabernet (25th Feb 1999)

A blind tasting of American Cabernet Sauvignon in Edinburgh.

1. 1996 Laurel Glen Counterpoint

25th Feb 1999 GBP14 USA Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Deep garnet, fading evenly.
Upfront nose with fresh mulberrys and cream.
Medium bodied with a warm, mouthfilling texture.
Fresh berry fruit, spicy, stalky old oak and grippy tannins.
Slightly hollow but good dry finish.
Pleasant now with food, should open out very well over the next 2 to 3 years.

2. 1996 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon

25th Feb 1999 GBP25 USA Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Bright, even, pale ruby.
Intense, leafy, vegetal nose with crunch cassis fruit and some creamy oak.
Medium to full bodied with a rich, rounded texture and minty, spicy black fruit flavours.
Soft, warm, long finish.
Easy and approachable now.

3. 1995 Wing Canyon Cabernet

25th Feb 1999 GBP19 USA Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Even pale ruby with notable viscosity.
Upfront, lush nose with lot of tart fruit and tobacco flavours and a touch of sulphur and shit.
Full bodied and ripe with sweet and sour cassis/mulberry fruit flavours.
Excellent integration with tart, fruity acidity and a long, dry, warm finish.
Impressive but slightly lacking in depth and showing excessive sulphur - drink now and over the short term.
[I spotted this as one of the Wing Canyons - the sulphur gave it away!]

4. 1993 Wing Canyon Cabernet

25th Feb 1999 GBP23 USA Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Much deeper in colour than the '95 - even ruby paling towards the rim.
Forward, attractive nose of cassis, spice and vanilla with integrated oak.
Full bodied and mouthfilling with creamy, sweet cassis flavours and a long, fresh, alcoholic finish.
Opulent and delicious now, but with real potential for development over the next 4 to 5 years.

5. 1996 Togni Cabernet Sauvignon

25th Feb 1999 GBP42 USA Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Opaque red/purple fading slightly at the rim.
Brooding, slightly dumb, dense nose of black fruits and coffee - very promising.
Medium to full bodied with sweet black fruits, coffee, liquorice and medicinal flavours.
Thickly textured and luscious with a warm, long, meaty finish.
Drinkable and enjoyable now, but needs time to show its best.

6. 1996 Matthews red

25th Feb 1999 GBP23 USA Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Bright, even garnet red.
Lively nose with berry fruits and herbal, radox notes.
Medium bodied with sweet cassis and herb flavours and a warm, long finish.
Nicely integrated and forward - drinking now.

7. 1996 Andrew Will Cabernet Sauvignon

25th Feb 1999 GBP25 USA Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Opaque garnet/purple, paling slightly at rim.
Restrained but interesting nose of cassis and herbs - needs time.
Medium to full bodied with sweet cassis fruit, minerals and tobacco, juicy acidity and a dash of oak.
Good dry finish.
Young but approachable now, this will probably be at its best in 2 to 5 years.

8. 1996 Andrew Will Sorella

25th Feb 1999 GBP25 USA Table Red

[Tasted Blind]
Very deep purple/red to red/pink at rim.
Mute and slighly soapy nose, with redcurrant and cherry fruit and a hint of sulpur.
Medium bodied and rounded, with tart berry fruits, sour acidity and a long finish.
Dirty and unappealling - possibly a tainted bottle or a bad phase?

9. 1995 Quilceda Creek red

25th Feb 1999 GBP30 USA Table Red

Opaque purple/red paling to rim.
Concentrated but closed nose of inky, currant fruit.
Full bodied and concentrated with plenty of alcohol, black cherry flavours, spicy oak and a rich, long finish.
Superb but very young - will be drinking well in 5 to 6 years.