Category Archives: 1997

1997 Andrew Will Klipsun Vineyard Merlot

This was a real treat that the Sommelier brought out the other night at a Earshot Jazz Festival show at the Triple Door. Ruby color. On the nose, developed, medium+ intensity, sour cherry fruit, loaded with spices, bark, cedar, anise, layered, with moderate oak, and a distinct chalky earth component. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, leather, cherry, fig, tea, cocoa, medium tannin, medium+ acidity, with beautiful balance, and a long spice filled finish. This wine kicked serious butt.

1997 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Petite Sirah

Stags_petite_sirahWow is what I have to say about this wine. It totally crushed it, and kudos to those who cellared it this long only to find its way to my palate. Inky black in color with slight brown edges. On the nose, developed, medium+ intensity, stewed plums, figs, blackberries, nutmeg, clove, meat, leather, some oak, and no earth to speak to, but loaded with spices. On the palate, dry, medium+ intensity, medium tannin, nice acidity, good balance, harmonious flavors overflowing with spices and stewy dark fruit. Solid finish on this interesting and thought provoking gem. Thank you table gods!    

1997 Woodward Canyon Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon

woody_98_oldvine Nice ruby color with browning edges. On the nose, developed, medium+ intensity, black currant, some cherry, lots of spice, bell pepper, cigar-box, stemmy vegetal component, dusty earth, some oak, and some earth. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, medium + body, medium tannin, very harmonious spice laden flavors with just enough fruit, and an impressive length of finish. Good example of why Cabernet Sauvignon is king.    

1997 Zonchera Barolo


Harry Alhadef of Apex Cellars brought this in with his family last night to celebrate his son’s 30th. This was a classic example of Barolo. On the nose, bouquet, medium intensity, lots of violets, roses, orange peel, licorice, serious tar, tea leaves, and still holding on to some sour cherry. Not oaky in any way, and obviously old world. On the palate, dry, softened tannins I would call med-, medium acidity, some clove and other spices emerging, beautiful and complex finish. Not the longest finish of the planet but amazing none the less.    

1997 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Napa Valley

I spent a really great morning with Susanne Groth a few summers back, and got a very good family vibe from her. Not just a business thats been traded from one big company to another, the winery was ameans of keeping the family together. I have long respected their wines, and some vintages are extraordinary, like any other chateau. I was told that the vinyards were re-oriented to allow more even ripening and to accomadate  a strong wind that rips through that area, and strengthens the vines. On the nose, still youthful but  moving toward bouquet, medium+ intensity, very classic Cabernet from California,  cassic, and creamy dark cherry element, followed by bell pepper, cigarbox, tobacco, leather, some dust,  but not erthy, some oak, but not oaky. On the palate, dry, med+ tannin, structure to contend with at least nine or ten rounds. Very balanced wine with a solid finish, a steal compared to the pedigree around this estate. Maybe they will get their shit together, and I will never again be able to afford their wines.    

1997 Chateau Souverain Merlot Alexander Valley


The Goodman’s brought this wine in last night. Nice couple, deep cellar of interesting wines of California, not the usual suspects from Bordeaux. On the nose, aged bouquet, some plum, black currants, leather, tobacco, spicebox, moderate oak, and no earth to speak of. On the palate, shockingly structured, big time tannins, lush dark fruit still, not the velvety wine I was expecting, but balanced, and a long finish. I would like to revisit this wine, with a big steak with it.    

1997 Apex Merlot


Wow, two aged Merlots from Washington in one night, the gods are looking kindly upon me. This one kicked some ass, in half bottle format. I wrote, bouquet, and a pretty one at that, fig and plum compote, tobacco, dust, and cocoa powder. On the palate, silky with great acidity, a beautiful mouthfeel, and nice long finish. Randy kept saying that this was just more paint on the canvas. I can say that this wine-maker knows how to nail it. I am trying to collect some older vintages of this one.    

1997 Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella


Aunt Sena and Uncle Bill broke this out the other night, said they’ve been saving it for a while to drink with me, and again I am thankful for the wine that finds me one way or another.
Great browing ruby with orange tint at the edges, of medium intensity. On the nose, med+ intensity bouquet. I got stewed fruit, plums, figs, cherries, anise, clove, meat, and smoke. On the palate, dry, med+ intensity, massive mouthfeel, still loads of tannic structure, and acidity to balance it all out. Med+ alchohol, med+ finish, I am a better person having tasted this wine.