First Word of the GREAT 2010 CA Cabernet Vintage
“what we are seeing now, and will see for the next year or so, is a plethora of Cabs of many hues that are (a) truer to varietal type, and (B) are better structured than we have seen for 15 years or more.”
He’s talking about the 2010 Cabernets from California producers that are just not hitting the shelves and that are reflections of cooler 2010 vintage. The glee in Dan’s words dance and sing out this week’s edition of his subscription newsletter, Vintage Experiences.
Dan’s characterization of the balanced and truly varietal Cabernet Sauvignons from this vintage (and likely from the 2011 vintage) is a “moment of bizarre awkwardness”. By this he is referring to the fact that most wine drinkers under 45 and most winemakers have become accustomed to believing that fine California Cabernet is naturally or ought to be big, port-y, high-pH wines that deliver easy and early gratification, but little staying potential and certainly no hints of herbalness that is in fact one of the tell-tale signs of the Cabernet grape.
The occasion of the release of these wines is one of bizarre awkwardness because it simply isn’t what California winemakers want or are accustomed to nor are they what consumers know about California Cabernet, according to Berger and he’s not wrong.
Dan concludes his comments on early release 2010 California Cabs with this:
“And the best is yet to come. It’s possible, I suppose, that some $100 Cabs may finally be worth buying!”
Of course it may turn out that Dan’s enthusiasm for the 2010 and 2011 vintage in California will be rewarded by having lots of them for him and others with similar palate preferences to purchase. We still have not heard any in depth assessment of the wines from The Wine Spectator, The Wine Advocate, Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, The New York Times nor the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s entirely possible that these still-influential publications will pan the 2010 (and the 1 year out 2011) vintage.
I for one have always been rewarded by following Dan Berger’s recommendations and the headline on his lead article in his “Vintage Experiences” newsletter this week, “A Great Time To Buy”, means I am likely to be going on a buying binge.