This was my first OTBN, a great push to open a special bottle, lingering in the cellar, that has significant meaning. It's a once-a-year phenomenon and cooked up by Dorothy Gaiter AND John Brecher at the Wall Street Journal.
Bremer Family Cabernet Franc 2001
The story of this bottle only goes back a few years, but it ended up being a part of the conception of this blog. I grew up around endless wine talk at the table, first listening to my father and his friends, then taking a part in it myself once I was of age. I was fascinated by the idea that sunshine could be trapped inside a bottle in such a natural yet other worldly way, but was overwhelmed by the infinite bottles to know. It seemed too much information to parse.
But one day four years ago, I was driving around in Napa with out-of-town restaurateur friends of mine, and we took a turn up Howell Mountain. I had no recollection of tasting up there but knew Howell Mountain as home to some great vineyards, a tasting room couldn't be far. When we turned down the driveway towards the Bremer Family property, I had the feeling I had been there before. As we looked around for where to go in to taste, there were still remnants of the Deer Park Winery that I had visited in the early 1980s. At the time, there was no formal tasting room at Bremer but we caught them on a good day and they welcomed us in to taste. Being with restaurant people helps open doors sometimes!
John Bremer and his general manager at the time were there and opened up several things for us and told us about their new venture with this beautiful historic property, in operation since 1891. We opened up a couple of 2000's and then John opened up this Cab Franc, a newly released 2001.
When I put my nose in the glass, I said "This smells like Oakville, where is it from?" John chuckeled and said "Are you in the business? You're absolutely right." "Wow," I said, "It reminds me a lot of the Paradigm Cab Francs." "Well, it's from the property next door" was his reply.
It was then that I thought that perhaps I had a special kind of scent and taste memory for wine. Perhaps I should really start publishing my tasting notes.
So here are my tasting notes from tonight:
Big blueberry, cassis, and cloves on the nose. The dark color is much closer to a southwest France wine instead of a Cab Franc dominated Bordeaux which tend to be a lot lighter. On the palate, it is pretty hot on the palate at first, but the flavor edges have smoothed out over the years. While not a spectacular wine, I would still recommend it and I'm glad I let it sit for several years.