Rutherford fresh: Freemark’s 2006 Bosché Cabernet
After tasting a lot of Napa Cabernets, it becomes obvious why the ones that are simply “different” fetch big ratings (and prices). Granted, if a wine doesn’t work for you, it’s not worth it, but many people who pay the price, pay it for something intangible. And that’s what drives the wine market.
Examples of these distinctive wines come out every year, but real consistent performers are often difficult to identify and many are just riding on their reputation. So instead of simply buying what you believe are consistent performers, it is often a better choice to taste carefully and then invest.
Of course it’s always good to share an opinion, just to help others along on their search, so here is one standout that came up recently. Not a total surprise, but somewhat of a “eureka” nonetheless. And it’s made by a well-established winery in St. Helena California, Freemark Abbey.
Freemark owns a vineyard up off the Napa Valley floor in an area known as the “Rutherford Bench”. The fruit grown there produces wines that are not only rich and complex, but there often intangible flavors in them that defy description. Freemark’s 2006 Cabernet Bosché is just such a creation.
Starting out with a full dark cherry bouquet that seems simple enough at first, but after a minute, other elements kick in. Vanilla, windy dust, raspberries, and then something that seems like fresh mint leaves and rhubarb soon appears. This one is definitely captivating. The structure is big and tannic typical of many Napa ’06 Cabs, but it soon mellows out and finishes in slow motion with a little more “fresh garden”. Go figure, a little “green” in a Cab? The rest would be up to the individual to decide.
Pairing with thinly sliced sautéed sirloin over arugula is a foregone conclusion, but definitely save a little of it for later. There will probably be mixed opinions about this one, but for those who have a fetish for fresh mint, look out, a barrel would not be enough.
The Bosché doesn’t appear on shelves nearly often as Freemark’s standard Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, Freemark sold out the ’07. Because of that, they pulled a little more of the ’06 out of the cellar for sale while the ’08 bottling was completed. So right now you can get both the ’06 and ’08 from the winery. They are priced around $100, but you should find them well worth it, classic Cabernets.
If you see the Bosché on a wine list for less than $140, and you like Cabs with a little of the “garden” in them, you may want to splurge with a nice beef entrée.
Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com
View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.