Sunday, December 21, 2008

Re 2


Second wine of the night was, let's be honest, one of the finest Niagara cabernets I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. 2003 Marynissen Vineyards Cabernet.

I've always loved Marynissen, for the intensity of the wine, and its age-worthiness. They make lovely, perfumed Bordeaux-style blends, with great restraint. It's not a hard wine to judge - the price alone elevates this wine to what I believe are the best cabernets in the country. Marynissen holds the standard for what other cabernet makers should aspire to. It's a shame you have a few big-name brands making so called "Meritage" blend wines - poor, thin, underripe, pathetic excuses for cabernet.

This is 50% cabernet sauvignon, 50% cabernet franc. Unusual, in that you don't see this type of blend in Bordeaux, where there's more merlot than cabernet franc. Marynissen makes an excellent cabernet/merlot blend as well - this is the first time I've tried the cabernet.

There's a deep saturation in the wine, still lustrous red - dark, but not inky. The aromas leap out of the glass - blackberries and dark cherries, heady aromatic fruit. Vegetal characters, from the cabernet franc. Great complexity - earth and bramble and fresh cut grass. On the palate, there's great depth and density in the wine, a testament to the nurturing hand of the Marynissen's. These people really know how to ripen cabernet. There's not much extract in this wine, but this is still a well-structure wine. Great restraint. Lacks the elegance of a Bordeaux, but the tannins are well-integrated and the transition silky. Finish of fresh red fruits, very long. Absolutely delicious.

This has the sharp, acidic nose indicative of Niagara cabernet. But it's not at all underripe or otherwise lacking in strength. I believe in the ageability of these wines, I should have bought much more of this wine. Fantastic!

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