Chris Corley
 
December 9, 2009 | Tasting Wine | Chris Corley

Tasting Highlights : 2006 Big Reds

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Posted By : Chris Corley

It's nice being on the backside of harvest. After more than my share of burritos, beer, sticky grapes, and long nights, I welcome being able to get home in time to start a fire, have dinner with the family and catch the Monday night game. Our post-crush workdays are a little more manageable as well, and I've settled back into my daily tasting routine. Mostly, I've been working through the vast amount of lots we've generated from 2009, but recently I tasted through our current releases of 2006 Cabernet Sauvignons and Proprietary Red Wine.

In addition to our CORLEY RESERVE Cabernet Sauvignon and CORLEY Proprietary Red Wine, we make 3 different vineyard designated Cabernet Sauvignons each year. These 3 small bottlings are from the State Lane Vineyard on State Lane in Yountville, the Tietjen Vineyard on Niebaum Lane in Rutherford, and the Yewell Vineyard on Ehlers Lane in St. Helena. Throw in the fruit from our Home Ramch and Knollwood Vineyards in Oak Knoll District, and we've got the valley pretty well covered!

The 2006 wines are all tasting great. These wines were all released over the last few months. All of the wines in this flight are aged in barrel for about 22-24 months, and then aged in bottle for another 12-15 months prior to release. If drinking now, I recommend decanting all of these wines about 30 minutes prior to maximum pleasure.

The 2006 CORLEY RESERVE Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cab blended from our 3 vineyards throughout the valley. It's a big rich dark wine that has nice chewy tannins for decanting now or 15 years from now. This wine reflects the best barrel selections of our combined Cab vineyards each vintage.

State Lane Vineyard (43%) “ Yountville Yewell Vineyard (19%) “ St Helena Tietjen Vineyard (38%) “ Rutherford

Our 2006 CORLEY Proprietary Red Wine is one of my favorite wines to blend each year. Because it is not varietally labeled, we let our imaginations guide us when assembling blends. More often than not, it is a Cabernet Franc and Merlot dominated wine, although we blend in Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah if it tastes right. The 2006 is 39% Cab Franc, 34% Merlot, 18% Cab Sauv and 9% Syrah. This wine is really tasting nice right now. Dark, spicy berry aromas, with well integrated oak. Dark chocolate and spice flavors are jammin' in a nice long finish.

Our three Single Vineyard cabs are all about barrel selection. Because they are bottled as 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from their respective vineyards, the blending trials revolve around barrel selection and seeing how the different cooperages, grains, and toast levels jive with each other. The 2006 Single Vineyard series was released this fall and all three wines are showing great depth of fruit, nice tannin structure and good aging potential, maybe 10-12 years.

MONTICELLO Tietjen Vineyard, CORLEY Yewell Vineyard, CORLEY State Lane Vineyard

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