Loweeel wrote:RPM, I know you're extremely busy and all, especially this week. And I certainly don't disagree with the above statement.
But one thing that I would absolutely *LOVE* to have is you telling us what CS *is* (and should be), rather than what it isn't, given your extensive knowledge, background, and experience. I think all of us here would really benefit from your sharing this with us.
And you know, WD... this could be a blog post ;).
Hmmmm. At least on a quick blog post, I would hestitate to try to say what I think Cabernet Sauvignon is -- a lot better palates than mine and far better writers than me have used truckloads of ink talking about Cabernet Sauvignon. For me, understanding CS has been an evolution that began when I was a wee lad (8 or so) and has continued for more than 50 years. It's been mostly about tasting a lot of wines, and talking about them -- sometimes with people like my grandfather and great uncles all of whom had 80 or so more years experience going back to pre-phylloxera Bordeaux, sometimes with winemakers of more or less experience, and sometimes (equally informatively at times) with people who are just learning about wine. Some reading, but always reading informed by tasting.
At this point, I pretty much relate to Cabernet Sauvignon, and people writing about Cabernet Sauvignon, on a 'gut' instinct - to quote Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, "I know it when I see it."
I hope that I will have the leisure to write more on this, to try to put my understanding into words better. Those who were on the rpm wine tour, who tasted Cabernet Sauvignon with with me, I think, have a pretty good idea what I have in mind. The first thing to understand it the life cycle of the wines, how the California examples at least, when made in a traditional style, tend to be fresh and fruity when released, and then after a year or so (age 4-6) become 'dumb' or 'dormant' or 'closed' and not especially interesting until they are 8-10 or so. (In traditionally made Bordeaux, they're not even fruity and fresh when young (though that's changed in recent years), but very tannic, and don't even begin to open up until they're 8-10 (about the time good Californai Cabernet Sauvignon 'wakes up' as we used to say). Flavors vary (usually various berries, sometimes olives, etc as flavors from the grape), but the intensity is characteristic, the soil really matters (think Rutherford Dust), and aging brings complexity that few other grapes can match.