Thursday, July 3, 2008

Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Full disclosure - I sell this wine at the shop. But that shouldn't be a surprise - I sell most of the wines on this blog at the shop. And really, what's a blog for if not to do a little shameless self promotion....

So to continue my trend of blatantly ripping my blog posts from my newsletter - on to the wine!

A few weeks ago, I brought in a little bit of Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2004. It sold so well (and I like it so much) that I decided to scoop up everything the distributor had left - which is wasn't much (less than 50 bottles).

I managed to pick it up at a great price because in distributor-land, when all they have left of a wine is 3 - 4 cases, it's considered more of a nuisance than a sales opportunity. But small shops with eagle-eyed, value-minded buyers can scourer the closeout lists looking to pick up little treasures that can be passed on to customers. So that's what I did

For those not familiar with the minutia of California wines, Barnett is what we consider an "under-cover cult cab". All fruit is sourced from Napa's Spring Mountain District. This is one of the area's highest altitude sub-regions with hills so steep that the vines are planted on terraces and hand-picked (tractors would just fall off the slopes). Bottom-line: some of the best grapes in all of Napa are in these bottles.

What's it taste like?
This is NOT a highly-extracted California monster wine (not that there's anything wrong with that, but this isn't it). Dark brambly fruits, a little bit of cherry, tobacco leaf notes, some spice, hints of vanilla from a well-integrated tannin structure. It balances good fruit concentration with an elegance and earthiness that's unusual for a lot of California wines. It goes really well with hunks of grilled meat. And bonus: it's drinking beautifully RIGHT NOW!

And of course it's available at Frankly Wines. Regular price is $58.99. Special price is $53.00 / bottle with purchases of 3 bottles or more.

Price-wise, this is a relative bargain for a Spring Mountain Cabernet (note the word "relative".) Mid-range for Napa these days is $50 - $100/bottle, with Spring Mountain wine typically at the high end. And when the 2005 vintage is released, it will probably hit around $65/bottle. So if you're intrigued, don't wait.

To order, come to the store, call 212-346-9544, or email

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