2004 Nelson Family Cabernet Sauvignon

Paired with tonight’s dinner was this 2004 Nelson Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. It is at 14.7% alcohol by volume with a cork closure. Cost: $18. We picked this bottle up when we visited Nelson Family Vineyards while on our honeymoon.

For dinner I made a parmesean, bread crumb, herb and honey dijon encrusted rack of lamb and a butternut squash soup topped with parmesean and rosemary. I figured a red would be my best bet for the lamb, but was a little unsure of what kind of a red. I didn’t want to go too light on the flavor because I think of lamb as a heartier meat, but not so much so that I would go with a zinfandel. So I chose this cabernet sauvignon. I wasn’t pleased with the match, so I am on the hunt for a different red for next time.

The wine itself had a lot of potential, but the food combo just didn’t do anything for either the meal or the wine. When I first sniffed this wine, I got a lot of berry flavor, mostly blackberry. The first sip showed me that I probably should have decanted this wine, it had a lot of alcohol flavor. I let it sit for a while and the next taste didn’t show any of the alcohol. Instead, I got the berry flavor, plus a little wood, some currant and later on, a hint of cherry. It’s a very full wine for a cabernet sauvignon, but now that I’m into the second glass and it’s aired out some more, I’m really enjoying the fruit flavors. They aren’t overwhelming and seem well balanced with the wood and now a bit of chocolate that I’m getting. I think this would have gone well with the eye of the round roast I made the other night.

If you get a bottle of this, I would keep it around for a few years. I have written down that it would be good now until 2009 and I wish I had kept it around for a while longer.

Oh, and if you get out to Sonoma, stop by Nelson. We were the only visitors at the time and serving us wine was Chris Nelson. It was great, we stayed for quite a while, played with the vineyard dogs and tasted some really great wines, especially the Orange Muscat which is sadly sold out (we have one bottle left!). Great small family operation.