Tasting Notes: Even though a lot of people might cringe at a $47 second label wine, let me be the first to say that the 2007 Napanook is worth every penny. Consider it a special occasion wine, but just be sure to consider it. From Christian Moueix of Chateau Petrus fame in Bordeaux, this single-vineyard wine is bursting with freshness. The nose is heavenly with aromas of cherries, strawberries and blackberries that are still on the vine. There are also undertones of vanilla bean, caramel and liquorish. The taste is equally as impressive with more of the rich, concentrated vine-ripened qualities that make the wine seem incredibly alive. It’s got big, ripe tannins and needs at least an hour to decant, but it really shows what is possible with California Cabernet when it’s not manhandled in the winery. Food Pairing Suggestions: The Napanook is a very versatile wine that would go with a wide range of meats, but don’t complicate the seasoning. Just use salt and pepper, as any rubs or marinades run the risk of overpowering the wine. I could see this being a perfect pairing with short ribs braised in red wine. Also a rib eye steak cooked medium rare would be a great accompaniment. Even leaner meats would work well because of the wine’s balanced tannins. I would caution against excessive use of smoke as it will detract, but browning with a sear or crust would be just right.
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