Discussing his lastest wine aeration experience, Christopher Delalonde enjoys an encounter with a delicious American wine from Abreu Vineyard. Read on to find out what happened in our resident Sommelier’s latest blog entry – Wine Aeration and the American Dream!
“…additional wine aeration helps release the palate which is intense!”
Last week I met a friend for an impromptu dinner – just a quick catch up over a meal and a glass of wine. Looking at the wine list, I came across a cuvée at a really good price and decided to go for it, it is not often one has the opportunity to taste such a find at an affordable price.
Abreu Winery – American Wine
The Abreu winery has something of a myth attached to it, as it is very small and run by David Abreu, one of the top people in USA vineyard management… The Madrona Ranch is the name of the wine and the site (www.abreuvineyard.com), and I have been lucky enough to encounter this vineyard and taste other vintages from it, such as 1993 and more recently 2005. So you can imagine my pleasure at finding this Vineyard on the list presented to us.
The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with hints of Merlot and Petit Verdot. We tried the 1995 vintage, with a dark red colour and a concentrated rim indicating the touch of evolution within the wine. There is also a high viscosity running on the glass. The nose is restrained at first with ink; smoke; cloves; brushwood and tobacco.
With some movement in the glass, some primary aromas start to show up as well as some more complex tones: roasting juices; cassis; mocha; crushed blue berries; wet earth; cinnamon from the oak treatment (the wine is aged for two years in 100% new French oak barrels). All very well knitted together and slightly closed, all indicators that this wine would benefit from wine aeration.
Having had the first taste it was time to reveal my best tool – the trusty wine aerator. So I whipped out my WineWeaver and ask the owner of the place to decant the wine through the wine aerator in another decanter. At first appearance this extra wine aeration may seem to be more complicated than we need – a double decant.
However this is a heavy red and the response to the extra wine aeration from the wine was very evocative as it burst forth with fruit (dark fruit) – ripe almost jammed berries; spices from oak, a touch of stalkiness from the cabernet that adds to the frame of roasted peppers and layers of stone/dried fruit and minerals themes that underlie the balance of this classy expression filled wine.
The additional wine aeration helps release the palate which is intense, ripe and powerful too, with sweet ripe tones; deep in earthy-mineral-forest flavours combined with coffee beans; dry meat and tar. As if this was not enough, focused throughout the experience, there is also a great mineral acid structure and some aromatic herbs too.
“…we were thrilled to note the mid-palate flavours after the wine aeration were weighty and classy!”
The added wine aeration process gave us time to enjoy the wine during the course of the meal- the alternative being to wait for some time as it sat in the decanter with a more limited exposure. We were thrilled to note the mid-palate flavours after the wine aeration were weighty and classy, still with a component of oak treatment in the profile. The expression carries on and builds a very long finish on spices; cedar, smoke and minerals.
Pure and refined; the Madrona Ranch from Napa is probably one of the most succulent red American wine I’ve drunk in a long time. If you get the chance, try this with a double wine aeration for yourself, you’ll be in for a real treat!