Thaddeus says – and admits upfront he’s been a fan for a very long time – that he was hit with a bouquet of dark cherry and herbalness on the nose. We walked him through a number of spices but it was tough for him to tap it at such an early stage. He loved the taste: a sweet black cherry with good acidity and a solid tannin structure to finish.
Jennifer says (and she spent a little more time with the wine) that when it was first opened the spices were not only indistinguishable – it was a broad whiff of eucalyptus and really smoky – but overwhelming. But as the wine unwound, the spice took a subtle retreat and it turned into a smooth blackberry coating the tongue and laced with just a bit of chocolate licorice. The tannins were strong at the onset, but settled down too to mix extraordinarily well with the dark fruits and the coffee flavor that emerged. Since it was Halloween week and she had some candy (for the Trick or Treaters, of course) in the house, she couldn’t resist pairing it with a Reese’s peanut butter cup. The chocolate, not surprisingly, was intensified. And the peanut butter? Well, who knew faux pb could taste so good?
Jennifer says this cab is a rich blackberry with a touch of cassis and an herbal essence that only a good cab franc can produce. There’s a sweet, woodsy presence, thanks to 30 months in French oak barrels. It’s soft to the palate with a nice finish that flirts with your tongue. Thaddeus says this has a nose of sweet plum with black currant bursting in. On the palate is a blackberry/dark cherry fruit. It’s very complex and approachable at this point and ready to drink.
This wine was produced in Yountville, Calif., and is a cabernet sauvignon with a blend of cabernet franc and merlot.
Thaddeus says this is a big, powerful wine, with a nose of blackberry, cassis and a hint of mint. On the palate it’s a dark fruit like a sweet blackberry and blueberry, with a certain softness but very smooth tannins. This wine has an outstanding finish with the fruit and tannins well integrated for an outstanding wine that will age eight to 10 years. Jennifer says the dark berries and cassis stand out the longer the wine has been open. In fact, if you’ve ever questioned what cassis smells like, this will clarify it for you. Its first taste is like taking a bite out of blueberry pie — only there’s no crust. Blackberry notes sneak in as does black cherry, and he’s right, there is the tiniest trace of mint. This coats your mouth and lingers on the tongue. So yes, the name — The Joy — is fitting. I’ve ordered more but it will be tough to lay it down for any significant period of time!