2004 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon
Clos du Val makes wines closer in style to the French than to the Californians. The 2004 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon is not as lush as most Napa cabs, instead winning us over with its balance and elegance. Dark cherry and cranberry flavors meld with an herbal twinge, with mint, sage and cedar playing on the finish. Medium body, nice acidity and solid tannins on the finish set this cab apart. Drink this now, after 30 minutes to open up, or cellar it for another 4 to 7 years. Winemaker John Clews uses a blend of 82 percent cabernet sauvignon, 8 percent cabernet franc, 8 percent merlot, and 2 percent petit verdot. The blend is aged in French oak barrels for 17 months, giving it a toasty, almost smoky characteristic. The cabernet franc lends cigar and tobacco flavors to the wine, and a chewy texture on the finish.Bernard Portet and John Goelet founded Clos du Val in 1972. Mr. Portet, the original winemaker, lets his French heritage and training show through in the style of the wines. Their 1972 cabernet sauvignon was one of the Napa wines in the famous 1976 Paris Tasting, pitting Bordeaux versus Napa Valley. Drink this 2004 cab with grilled lamb, prime rib or venison. The 2004 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon is $35.
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