In Lecce, California wines are hard to come by. 6 months ago when I moved here from San Francisco, I didn't mind so much, but now I'm a bit Cabernet and Pinot-starved. Luckily, my friend Andrew, software engineer extraordinaire, visited us from Palo Alto, California, and brought along an incredible bottle of California Cab with him. It took my girlfriend Kristin and I on a quick sip back home.
Andrew grew up on a cattle ranch in the Central Coast, and he grilled up a few Italian-raised steaks to accompany the wine. Kristin whipped up a parmesan polenta and I made balsamic-marinated vegetable skewers. It was my first time pairing steak and Cabernet Sauvignon, but that makes sense since I've only eaten steak twice: I was raised vegetarian. Back in my veggie days, I always noticed a strange gleam that would creep into the eyes of animal eaters when they talked about STEAK. Quite simply, it's like no other flavor on earth, just like the Myriad Cellars's Cab.
The nose was dark, dark, dark with chocolate, tobacco, and a hint of vanilla. The first sip revealed that wine needed more time to breathe--even after 30 minutes. The mouthfeel was pure silk and it was medium bodied. As the wine opened up it was intensely mineral: It had chalk on the finish and a slight metallic tinge in the front of the mouth. Other flavors were cola and cedar. The most striking component of the wine was an encompassing finish of spice and tannin. The tannins were particularly even, reminding me of why Cabernet Sauvignon is such a wonderful grape.
The Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard in Napa Valley is gaining a huge following from winemakers and consumers alike. Myriad Cellars, of course, has its own believers.