Three cabernets worth investing in

May 29, 2012

Silverado 2007, Kuleto 2008 and Oakville Ranch 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon can be found in a three-pack; they were rated 92 and above by the major writers, and the wines raced up in price. When I wrote Silverado it was hold your fire at $55. The Oakville 93-plus from McD was a recommended buy at $45. The Kuleto is new to the column. Dave Lattin is the winemaker. You may have heard of Kuleto’s Frog Prince, India Ink, Danelli or Native Son, single-vineyard bottlings produced by Pat Kuleto, priced in the $80s and rated mid-90s. The 2008 Estate is a blend of these vineyards’ juices. The 2008 is a 93-pointer. Ready to drink 2013 and later, the nose is an exquisite bouquet of Framboise, chocolate, dried rose, some bell pepper (Kuleto described the chocolate/pepper nexus as molé).

The palate is rich and juicy. Raspberry repeats and there is a sweetness from the fruit, although the wine is completely dry, providing a very clean, balanced finish. I’m guessing you may locate a case for $420.

Many are lauding the 2010 Cotes du Rhone as “the best ever.” Time to take a look at the 2003 instead. CdR takes aging, and I’m pretty sure you will be able to find several of those I recommended on sale soon. Chapoutier Barbe Rac 2010 - RP says 97, priced at $85. The 2003 can be found under $100 and is perfect to drink now.

For those who enjoy CdR 2009, which are a bit more pocketbook-friendly, check out these names: Chave; Perrin & Fils; Bernard; Chateaux Beaurenard; or Grand Moulas for wine under $20. My favorite in this range was deep ruby/purple with blue tints. Redolent of chocolate and black fruits: plum, black cherry, boysenberry and currant, with a vague touch of anise on the nose as well. 2009 Domaine de Mourchon Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret Grande Reserve is a lovely Grenache/Syrah blend priced under $240/case. RP 94, WS 91, McD 93 plus two price points under $24/bottle.

2009 Bordeaux prices are softening due to Euro deterioration. I just saw a Grand Cru St. Emilion, OPR, on sale under $20, rated 92 points by WS. Bordeaux bucket list now. Remember 2009 was a remarkable vintage and it is difficult to find anything that is not pretty darn good. As the Euro continues to implode, the wine prices will diminish. Wait to buy until the recriminations and riots are at their peak. Probably coming to cities near you as well this summer.

2009 Louis Jadot, Beaune 1er Cru 150th Anniversary Cuvee is down in price to $40 after skyrocketing to $60 on WA’s Galloni write-up, "gorgeous inner perfume and the vibrant red fruit only Pinot can offer, all supported by the firm tannins typical of these sites. The wine possesses stunning balance and extraordinary grace from start to finish. It is simply dazzling. Quite frankly, I was blown away.” Ready to drink 2018, will cellar longer. An added factor I think some have missed here is that, although 6,000 cases were produced, there is always value in anniversary edition wine 10 years out. If you are BBB, sock away a case of 12, then drink six and resell six bottles in 2020 for a profit. Worse case is selling them  to the mainline Chi-coms, for Yuan or renminbi, or drinking them yourselves. Looks like no downside to me. 2009 Raventos I Blanc de Nit Rosé Cava! If you are throwing a party this summer that begs for a sparkler, this is the ticket. WA gave it 93 points. I had to sample some and I found a case price of $240. Raventos has produced a lovely, pink beauty perfect for a summer wedding toast. The nose is very subtle and very pretty with traces of rose water and cherries. The palate is crisp and fresh. It is a delicate, integrated Cava rosé. Ready now, should keep several years. A very nice summer sipper.

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