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01.22.2004

2001 X Winery Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Cool labels and fancy names for wineries do not always make for good wine. X Winery is staffed by a young, technology minded group of vintners, whose lack of experience and too much focus on the mechanics of the process may be demonstrated in this wine. On the other hand, I may just not like the stuff.

Tasting Notes:
Closed right out of the bottle, but easy to drink (13.9% alcohol), and opening up a little more over time, this wine had some surprisingly sharp tannins and a slightly stringent finish that made it hard to appreciate the pretty heavily extracted black cherry fruit. My sense is that the winemaker was going for some more complex woody and spicy notes in the body of wine, but they come across as more bitter than anything. Just to make sure I wasn't misreading these flavors for complexity, I left the wine on my counter and tasted it over the next couple of days without significant improvement. Because of the heavy tannins, this wine may turn into something more interesting with bottle age. I'm going to toss a bottle into the "do not disturb" section of the cellar, and see what it does in 5 - 7 years.

Food pairing:
Probably would go well with a good rib eye or rosemary rubbed rack of lamb.

Overall score: 6

How much?: $24

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud