This past week the Vintage Wine Tasters met for their annual blind tasting of California Cabernet Sauvignon. For this tasting we decided to drill down to the 2007 Vintage, all from wineries in the Napa Valley. Everyone in the Napa Valley is touting the 2007 Vintage as a great one. The weather in 2007 was mild with no heat spikes of over 100 degrees. The nights were cool with less than five days of nighttime temperatures above 55 degrees. The year was a grower’s delight.
It was my turn to host so I did as much research as possible to narrow the huge number of 07 Napa Cabernets to six wines ranging in price from $20 to $60. By coincidence on the day of our blind tasting, my latest Wine Spectator arrived and it was the annual issue devoted to California Cabernet Sauvignon. I quickly glanced at the highest-ranked wines in the Spectator and found two of my choices on their Top Value list, one at 94 points and the other at 92 points.
For our annual tasting venue, we chose a local restaurant, Ristorante Rocca, on Broadway in Burlingame. The owner, Haci Kurt, set up 8 sets of six wine glasses on his beautiful bar for the eight Vintage Tasters. The wines were tasted blind and we used the same rating sheet we use for each of each of our bimonthly tastings, an innovative 25-point scale from WineCountryGetaways. We rank each wine from first to sixth based on each individual’s scorings.
The results of the tasting from first to sixth place:
• Round Pond – $45
• Robert Mondavi Napa Valley – $20
• Turnbull – $33
• Honig – $31
• Duckhorn – $60
• Frog’s Leap – $35
The Round Pond 2007 was the runaway winner of our competition. I see that the Wine Spectator awarded it 94 points and it is well deserved. The wine has a terrific and intense aroma that screams out of the glass. The flavors are full of layers and the wine has a soft feel in the mouth. I picked up this wine at my local wine shop for $45 and that is a terrific value. When Haci of Rocca’s sampled the Round Pond, he immediately made a notation and I am guessing that he wants this Cab on his wine list.
Surprisingly the Mondavi Napa Valley 07 Cabernet was second overall, beating out the likes of Turnbull and Duckhorn. The aroma was very lacking but the overall taste of this wine makes it a terrific bargain at $20. I’d purchased this wine at K&L Wines.