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Montoya Napa Cab: Whatcha’ call dusty

Posted on: October 22nd, 2014 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

When tasting Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, there is one important thing to keep in mind, get ready to mentally sort through the relative merits of all kinds of dark fruit combinations.  Well maybe, because with wine tasting generalities and stereotypes, there are always exceptions.

2010 Montoya Napa Cab Yep, as the many examples of vintners’ work coping with nature’s irregularities continues on, it looks like there are going to be even more exceptions.  Maybe it’s time to toss out the wine rubber stamp for awhile and get down to evaluating these interesting “variations on a theme” for what they really are, non-conformists.

One of these that’s a little off the norm is Montoya’s Napa Valley Cabernet.  There is certainly nothing really objectionable about it, but its peppery and dusty bouquet with a background of currant fruit may be lesson in experiencing right up front what many wine experts call “Rutherford Dust”.  A good swirl and quick sniff is all you need to do to experience this “sense of place”.

So if you want to experience the dust of the vineyard for yourself, pick one of these up at Phoenix area Total Wine stores as a “winery direct” selection for about $20.  Although this character is traditionally presented as a background contributor in expensive red wines (like Frank Family’s Winston Hill), this is a great opportunity to zero in on this particular aspect of a bouquet’s personality, just to understand what it’s all about.

Don’t misunderstand, this is a nice wine.  In fact, all-in-all it’s on the light side and will work well with French Dip or Beef Cold Cut sandwiches.  It has fine tannins, currants in the mouth, and a sultry acidity that many refer to as saline, making it perfect for many beef preparations.

The Montoya Cabernet is certainly a candidate for yet another “wine lesson learned”.

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About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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