November 28, 2007

2005 Switchback Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa CA

Wow. What an amazingly stellar young cab from Switchback Ridge. This wine went through more changes in the glass than any wine I've had in quite some time but there's still something that makes me cringe about opening a relatively high priced Napa cab that is so young. I had the pleasure of drinking a few Switchback wines quite some time ago but I don't think I was able to appreciate them due to my palate being exhausted. There are some who don't see what all the Switchback hype is about and some that can't stop raving about these Cabs. I fall into the latter category, as I think these wines are delicious.

Switchback Ridge focuses on 3 varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Sirah, sourcing their fruit exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard. The total cases produced each year of all varietals is usually pretty small. I think the 2005 Cabernet only produced about 300 cases. They're also lucky enough to have Bob Foley working with them! Bob is the man, and has worked with Hourglass, Pride Vineyards, and bottles his own high alcohol, flavorful wines under his 'Robert Foley' label. Bob has long been considered one of the top winemakers in Napa Valley.

I was lucky enough to score a bottle of this with the plan of drinking it soon and purchasing more if I fell in love with it. Best young cab I've had in a long time, but my plan seems to have failed and this wine is sold out as far as I can tell. You can probably find a bottle or two on wine searcher for over $100 but it other than that it's not looking very good. C'est la vie. Maybe next year I'll be able to nab a 6-pack or so and cellar it if I can keep myself from drinking it. Any Merlot fans should seek out bottles of Switchback's Merlot and scoop them up, they're an excellent value.

Tasting Notes:
Right off the bat this wine has an amazing bouquet. Over a hour or so of drinking it seemed to never stop evolving in the glass. Lots of red fruits, licorice, chocolate and dried cranberry on the nose. Garnet to the rim with enticing flavors of currant, cherries, spice and teasing notes of clove on the endless finish. Classic, high octane Napa Cab with well integrated tannins. I would love to taste this in 7 or 8 years and see how it performs.

Score: 94

Price: $80

No comments: