1999 Kelham Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

1999 Kelham Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon $45

This is an outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon.

I bought these at a special tasting with Ron Nicholsen, one of the winemakers, in July, 2003, and I’ve been dying to try one.

Pulling the cork, I got a whiff and knew instantly that this one could sit another ten, twenty or more years. It is HUGE! I poured a bit into my glass and took a sip. My first thought was that I should put the cork back in and put it back in the cellar for a couple of years because it was a very young wine. What I did instead was a little decanting. I served it with a premium dark chocolate, which turned out to be an excellent combination.

Someone in the group said “This is the best wine that I’ve ever tasted!” I will say that I’ve tasted some that I thought were a bit better but cost three times as much as this one. So for me, this one is a great bargain, and I will say that it is among the best wines that I’ve ever tasted also.

So what did it taste like, you ask? Here were the comments from the group. Black current, toffee or caramel and chocolate.

Did I mention that this one is outstanding?

1999 Robert Biale Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel

1999 Robert Biale Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel $38

I love the Robert Biale Black Chicken Zinfandel, but I like this one a lot also. For me, this Zinfandel defines the point where if it is any more ripe or jammy, then I don’t want it. Unfortunately for me and a few others that I know, the mass market wants them with as much jam and raisin character as they can get.

This wine is big and spicy with a lot of blackberry and pepper. It feels wonderful in the mouth, and I shed a tear when the bottle was empty.

Rosenblum Daniellé $16 (non-vintage)

Rosenblum Cellars Daniellé A Tawny California Desert Wine With Natural Chocolate Flavors $16 (non-vintage)

What can I say? This is desert in a glass. Really, you can just pour an ounce or two, and sip it after dinner while talking with friends or watching a movie. This stuff is really nice. I think that they used to call this a Tawny Port, but probably for legal reasons changed the name. In any case it has a lot of character. There is of course a lot of chocolate flavor and a bit of wood flavor over the top of vanilla, black cherry and a hint of citrus.