Wines From My Cellar & Others
My son Ben and son-in-law Aaron are big sports fans. Baseball, basketball, football…it doesn’t matter. They know the teams, the players and the statistics. It is fun to listen to their conversations. I am nowhere near as passionate about sports as they are. I do, however, confess to being a life-long Cubs fan. Yes, there is “always next year.”
When I was a kid, my cousin Tom and I would get to go to the afternoon games (no lights in those days for night games) as Tom’s family lived a couple of blocks from Wrigley Field. I will share with you that Ernie Banks was the Cub’s shortstop back then. I will not reveal the years, but needless to say, it was a long time ago.
What does all this sports talk have to do with wine? Well, I am passionate about wine just like the guys are about sports. One of my all-time favorite players in the wine game is Celia Welch, founder and winemaker at Corra Wines. She has a long history as an outstanding winemaker, making wines at such top-rated wineries as Scarecrow, Keever, Kelly Fleming, D.R. Stephens to name but a few.
I consider myself fortunate to have gotten on Corra’s mailing list when it just opened. This good fortune has allowed me to purchase a few bottles of each vintage since her first in 2004 through her recent in 2010. I have created what’s referred as a vertical – which is six or more consecutive vintages of a particular wine.
The 2007 Corra Cabernet is a classic Napa Valley Cabernet with great strength and structure. I found the wine to be quite complex. A good deal of the strength and balance of this wine has to do with the fact that the 2007 Napa Valley vintage was simply exceptional. So much so that Wine Spectator rated the 2007 vintage at 99 points on their rating scale.
The 2007 Corra was rated quite high with Robert Parker rating the wine in December 2009 at 94 points while Wine Spectator rated the wine at 96 points. This is one of the higher rated wines of Celia Welch’s various Corra vintages.
As I stated earlier, I found this wine to be very complex. The winemaker referred to it as “multi-dimensional.” After opening the bottle I was so excited to try a glass of the wine, I simply forgot all the wine fundamentals of Wine 101. I poured a glass, sniffed, swirled and tasted. The wine had sort of a dull, earthy, unpleasant taste. Then it occurred to me what I had done. I had not given the wine the opportunity to breathe and open and display its potential. I quickly set the glass on the counter and grabbed my trusty decanter to start over.
I decanted the wine and let it sit for about two hours while I continued to sample the original glass I had poured. As the wine opened and came to life, its nose produced a perfume of fruit, vanilla and perhaps a hint of spice. The color of the wine was a deep purple…very typical of a powerful Cabernet Sauvignon. On the palate the wine offers a mix of fruit, cocoa and a touch of oak. This wine was very mouth-filling and vibrant with velvety tannins…something I really like. The finish is long and lightly spicy. I found this to be a very enjoyable and delicious wine.
There were 350 cases produced. The wine is still available through various internet marketers. I suggest you try www.wine-search.com. They list four merchants who have the wine with prices ranging from $125 to $225 per bottle. I imagine you can, with a little exploration, find the wine for a little bit less than those prices. I think Celia Welch is an outstanding winemaker and if you can get the opportunity to taste her wines, I am sure you will not be disappointed. If you have tried her wines, please share your experience by posting a comment below. Also, please share this blog posting with your friends.