2000 Cabernet Sauvignon 750 ml
Double Gold Medal in Taster's Guild International
Medium to full bodied, youthful with a solid tannic structure, perfectly balanced by its lively acidity and it's mouth-coating ripeness. Ripe black cherry & plums, blackberry espresso, tobacco and black pepper.
The 2000 Renaissance Cabernet Sauvignon, which I drank at home over the course of three days, is one fascinating time trip. The grape is typically not my thing and I wasn't bowled over by this wine, but it is most definitely alive. The first day, it's a massive, impenetrable wall of black and blue fruits, a hint of espresso, and tannins. Although it was obviously not overextracted, overripe, or overoaked, I could only taste youth and climate.
It's shocking to me that a 2000 California cab can taste so young and primary in 2008, but that's part of the story here. This was a different animal on day two. Hello, red fruits! The nose was dusty dark cherry as if it were Sangiovese in drag. I was not expecting this. The robust acidity was delivered with well-structured red fruits of pomegranate, cranberry, and cherry, and if the finish was still a bit short, it had a nice, high presence at the midpalate, and it went nicely with my Middle Eastern food.
On the third and final day, secondary characteristics of leather and spice box emerged. The cherry flavors flagged slightly yet maintained some refreshing acidity, while the tannins likewise softened without losing all sense of structure. Time to break out a brisket.
Renaissance claims that due to their low yields (1-1.5 tons per acre on average), their production costs are anywhere from 5-6 times the Napa/Sonoma averages. If Napa averages 4-5 tons per acre, the math isn't quite there, but no matter: the drinking satisfaction is exponentially higher; and yet this Cab cost just $30, a bargain compared to many a slop pail sloshed out in Napa.
Wicker Parker - 04.01.08
Double Gold Medal - Taster's Guild International, Silver Medal - Taster's Guild International 2008