Cabernet drinkers, er, make that Napa Valley Cabernet drinkers, are frustrated a lot these days.
Too many high prices and hard-to-get wines is a common refrain I hear from readers.
So, just when you think that a luscious Napa Cabernet for $30 is an endangered species, along comes a pleasant surprise.
I’m happy today to offer a 2004 Cabernet that’s not only an excellent wine, but at $28 a bottle, a real deal. It’s from Tamber Bey, a new winery with vineyards in Yountville.
I tried the 2004 Two Rivers Vineyard in a blind tasting at my office in Napa yesterday. It offers aromas of red currant, plum, herb, sage and dusty cedar. It’s complex and concentrated on the palate, turning supple and gracious, ending with a long, elegant aftertaste. Thomas Brown is the winemaker, and 600 cases were produced.
Owners Barry and Carol Waitte bought their vineyard in Yountville in 1999, and I’ve liked all three of their estate-grown wines, including the 2004 Chardonnay Two Rivers ($28), a rich, honeyed wine, with smoky hazelnut and apricot flavors, and a 2003 Oakville Cabernet ($50, 300 cases) that offered sweet ripe plum and wild berry fruit, with polished tannins.
What sets the two Cabernets apart is, for me, the difference in vintages. Both fit into the very good range for me. The 2004 is more supple and harmonious, with riper fruit flavors than the 2003, which is more austere, true to the vintage.
And of course, it’s half the price.