2005 Cabaret Series No. 4
California: Sonoma County
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Mission Codename: She’s got legs
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Investigate reports of a sexy red blend from California’s Dry Creek Valley. If the wine is as great as reputed, secure an ample allotment for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: De La Montanya
Wine Subject: 2005 Pinup Cabaret
Winemaker: Dennis De La Montanya
Backgrounder: California’s Dry Creek Valley has become a favorite spot for some of our more senior Agents. Wines from this region in the northern end of Sonoma County show a remarkable richness and bright balance. Today’s unique blend is an exciting and delicious co-fermented from wine, made from 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Zinfandel and 12% Syrah from De La Montanya’s own family vineyards. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful dark burgundy, with deeply concentrated color through to the wines lighter edges. This wine shows a clear but darker core and a tight surface that settles quickly after swirling – leaving behind tightly clustered skinny legs that march very steadily down the glass
Smell – Deeply aromatic, even perfumy, leading off with dark layers of blueberry, cherry, blackberry and raspberry, with earthen notes of violet, redwood forest, subtle truffle and a hint dash of soft spice
Feel – Initially wet and light and round at the front of the palate, then softly drying and mouth-coating with medium tannins that fade to reveal follow-on flavors
Taste – Ripe plum, tart dark cherry, smoky blackberry and cassis are balanced against spice and follow-on flavors of earthy
Finish – A long and dark finish that ramps down smoothly, while continuing to reveal new flavors as it tapers off
Conclusion – This special wine is bold, sexy and delicious, and it leads off with a plethora of dark aromas and flavors that evolve as you hold it in your mouth – and as you continue to sip. As the wine spends time mingling with the air (decant this baby for best results!), it evolves further still, softening to reveal more elegant flavors and a more tender feel. Co-fermenting is a practice that is not for the winemaking weak-of-heart. Most winemakers opt to ferment in separate barrels to then blend them in the lab. Dennis De La Montanya, innovator and all around wine adventurer, chose to age the three varietals which comprise this wine, together. In the wrong hands, this brave practice can yield unpredictable results. Dennis nailed it with today’s great red blend.
Its a classic argument; Do legs, the thin streaks that form on the inside of your glass, an indicator of quality? There is much debate over whether these are formed as a result of pure physics – or due to some mysterious quality within the wine.
In the case of today’s wine, legs add a whole new level of meaning – and intrigue.
Dennis De La Montanya, owner and winemaker at De La Montanya Winery in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, creates beautiful wines under his main DLM label. He also crafts small lots of special wines for his offshoot wine series, PinUp.
PinUp wines are limited production specialty wines of bodacious quality and, dare I say, sexy attitude. These wines are built to titillate your mind and your senses. Today’s 2005 Cabaret is a bold and delicious blend, filled with voluptuous flavors and striking aromatics. On the palate, the wine is sensuous and smooth, but also somewhat raucous. It strikes a great balance.
Dennis De La Montanya, too, strikes a balance in his approach to winemaking. This balance is reflected in his personality. I had the great fortune to spend a morning with Dennis recently. I found him to be serious about wine and winemaking, but also a boisterous, gregarious and even slightly irreverent man of the world type. He is equally at home discussing the finer points of fine wine – or passionately lambasting someone that he might disagree with. The latter done with great humor that had me laughing out loud at points during our conversation.
If you are ever in the Dry Creek Valley, I encourage you to visit with Dennis and his crew. A great time will be had by all and I guarantee that you will learn something.
Meanwhile, treat yourself to today’s delicious 2005 Pinup Cabaret, a wine that is certain to delight any fan of superb red blends.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The gorgeous location of the De La Montanya Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
A glamorous, rich, fruit-forward red wine with deep color and intense flavors. Co-fermented from 44% CABERNET SAUVIGNON, 44% ZINFANDEL and 12% SYRAH from our family vineyards, then gently pressed. The result is harmonious. The full-bodied Cabernet fruit is accentuated by the spicy Zinfandel in this well-balanced and appealing wine.
This wine is dedicated to Joe Bianchi, step-father and winemaking mentor, Joe has been making wine since the 1920s, continuing the family tradition introduced to him by his parents, and theirs. [Joe passed away in November 2005]
About The Winery:
PinUp Wines are handcrafted in very small lots from our premium estate vineyards located in the Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and Sonoma County appellations.
Our PinUp labels feature women wine club members posing in fun and playful portrayals of 40’s era pinup posters. Each fall we pick the winners for the next series through a random drawing. We had so much fun with last year’s label contest that we decided to feature more of our wine club PinUp models by creating multiple label versions for the new Desire.
The No. 5 Collectors Edition marks a change in the series for the first time, with Rouge, Rose and Platinum all going into retirement, in exchange for the up and coming Desire. As you already know, the PinUp series contain some of our most acclaimed wines.