In January, I took my first wine trip to Sonoma. The night before I left, I talked to a friend who had gone many times. I told him what was on my itinerary, and he made a few strong suggestions for changes or additions. I specifically remembering that he made this statement: “What ever you do, go to Robert Young in Alexander Valley.” I had not heard of the winery, and he told me that Alexander Valley should have been named Robert Young Valley. He also told me to buy two of whatever I decided to buy, and he would trust my judgment.
I’m going to talk about this one in two sections, freshly opened, and then after it has been open for a little while.
The color is a nice dark purple. The aromas are mint, cherries, toasted oak, and leather. I taste a little cassis, a touch of chocolate, leather and black pepper. This is a HUGE wine, and it is going to open up very nice! The wine has a very smooth taste curve, with a very elegant finish.
While I wait for it to open a bit, I have to make a couple of comments about the folks at the winery. These are some of the nicest people in the whole world. Even though they know that their wines are something special, they act very humble when you compliment one of the wines. They let us taste a barrel sample of the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, which was fantastic. I asked them if they were going to bottle it, because it was truly great. They said no, that they are going to use it in the Scion.
I noticed that a lot of the wineries have a lot of cats around. My thought is that some of them are working cats which keeps down the competition for the grapes. While standing at the counter, ordering wine, and signing up for the wine club, I felt something rub my leg. I looked, and there was a nice grey kitty trying to get my attention. I picked it up and it started to purr. So even their cats are proud of their wine!
After being open a couple of hours: I smell raspberries, leather and chocolate. I’m now noticing that the wine has beautiful legs, so the alcohol content must be decent. The taste now starts out very smooth, almost velvety. The taste builds and builds. I taste a touch of leather, a bit of current, some chocolate and perhaps some subdued mint or menthol. There is some pepper in the middle, and it finishes with an almost-buttery elegance.
I think that this wine would pair well with a variety of foods. I tried it with Fettuccini Alfredo with chicken and broccoli, and it did very good. Any red meat, including pork and especially lamb should go well with this. For desert, a bit of dark chocolate seems to compliment this wine.