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Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec has been with Wine Spectator since 1997. She is the lead taster for Australia and New Zealand wines and California Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc and "other" whites.
MaryAnn Worobiec

A Napa Cabernet for Toasting A Friendship

Merus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2003

MaryAnn Worobiec
Posted: February 10, 2010

One of my best friends is moving from Napa to San Francisco. I know that our friendship will transcend those 50 miles, just as they’ve transcended our age gap and voting record. But still I’ll miss her proximity, and the ability to pop over with a bottle of wine at a moment’s notice.

So when she invited me over on a Monday night to share a pizza and watch a shared guilty pleasure together on television, I grabbed a bottle of Merus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2003. It was a special bottle that I had been holding onto for a while, but I wanted to commemorate what was probably one of our last moments together in her Napa home. Part of collecting wine means knowing when to open it, and a special bottle of wine can turn an ordinary Monday night into a memory we’ll have for years.

I grabbed the perfect bottle to create a memory. It was showing beautifully—gorgeous, very concentrated and muscular and full of ripe berry flavors. Best of all were all the details: tobacco and spice, earth, leather, smoke and licorice notes that were both generous and sophisticated and revealed themselves over the hours. I gave it 94 points, non-blind. I could see it going strong for another 10 years. The friendship, another 50. At least.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Merus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2003 (91, $160).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated California Cabernets.

Mike Hein
Greenville, SC, USA —  February 10, 2010 7:29am ET
Great story, Ms. Worobiec.

I just tweeted your line, "Part of collecting wine means knowing when to open it". Well said.
David Peters
Mission Viejo, CA —  February 10, 2010 12:52pm ET
MaryAnn: Great friendships & fine wine....life's true pleasures. I think of my cellared wines somewhat like children. At some point, when they have matured into adulthood, we have to learn to let them go and share them with the world(friends), hoping they have grown into something others will enjoy, as we did when they were so young, fresh, and lively. May your friendships and wines remain robust for many years.
Thomas A Mobley Iii
Tallahassee, FL —  February 10, 2010 9:38pm ET

Thank you for sharing this. You write beautifully and powerfully. Your little story really brought back great bottles at great moments with great people. Thanks.

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