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Gary Barlettano

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WTN: '03 Ballentine Vineyards, Pocai Vineyard, Napa Valley Cabernet Franc

by Gary Barlettano » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:24 pm

'03 Ballentine Vineyards, Pocai Vineyard, Napa Valley Cabernet Franc, 14.8% abv, $24.00: The interesting thing about this particular wine was that it was almost everything the blurb on the wine list said it would be: "Aromas of black cherry and blackberries draped atop classic crème brule (sic) accented by spicy peppery notes and hints of dried herbs introduce this lovely Cabernet Franc. Full and structured tannins, a silky smooth body, and flavors of black cherry, blueberry, vanilla and toast delight the palate." I don't know about the crème brûlée or the spelling of it, but the rest was pretty much on the money. I did enjoy this 100% Cabernet France quite a bit after which I tried about a dozen other Ballentine wines a number of which were equally interesting, but the Cabernet Franc just appealed, so I tried it again. Oy Moishe!!! Those spicy peppery notes turned into pure green bell pepper and that was it. No more draping berries.

That was an interesting experience, i.e. how in the course of a lengthier tasting and, I suppose, by virtue of a shift in palate context, the impression a wine makes could change so radically.

By the way, this was done at Ballentine Vineyards in St. Helena, a nice place.

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