Sat down last night with two bottles of Cab Sav, one from France - Duhart-Milon Lafite Gran Classe 2004, and one from Napa Karl Lawrence 2004.
I have been looking forward to trying the Duhart for some time, waiting till the moment was just right. Last night after what has been a number of long days at work I thought a reward was needed and broke it open. The nose slowly woke up with notes of chocolate, dark cherry, spice but when I went in for my first sip I was very disappointed. There was a total lack of flavor and weight as well. The tannins were there but no real structure just a watery drink. I am not going to say that I am not a fan of this wine because I have to believe that there was something wrong with this particular bottle. I have a number of customers who buy this wine again and again loving it each time. It also comes from a trusted producer in a trusted area. It definitely wasn't corked or oxidized but something was off. Any thoughts??
To make up for this loss we opened up a bottle of Karl Lawrence 2004 Mike Trujillos side project from Sequoia Grove. I picked this wine up a couple of months ago when I visited with him. A great representation of Napa cab. Strong velvety tannins that work their way across your mouth while expressing dark fruit and spice. Really a beautiful wine from what seems to be a great vintage.
Even though the Duhart was "off" it was a good experience to drink these two side by side. The nose on both had similarities and differences. You could tell right off that they were both cab but then after that they highlighted two different kinds of cab. One, the Duhart, was more reserved with relaxed fruit, deep chocolate, and some earth characteristics. While the Karl Lawrence was more up front and powerful really throwing fruit right out of the glass.
I wonder if that difference is based more in soil and geography or wine making style?