30 May 2014

Charles Krug Wine Tasting

Charles Krug is the oldest winery in Napa, dating back to 1861 when a Prussian immigrant got into the wine business. It didn't really achieve greatness until after Prohibition when Cesare Mondavi purchased the company, and the rest is history. Earlier this week I got to join an online tasting of these four wines with Peter Mondavi, Jr.

2013 Charles Krug Limited Release Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Napa Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
$35, 13.6% abv.

The lone white wine of the tasting has remarkable funky tones, and I say that as a good thing. Grass, gooseberry, a little earth and a powerful body make this a really fascinating Sauvignon Blanc. Keep this one around for that savory duck in mole sauce dish that you've always been wanting to try.

2011 Charles Krug Napa Valley Merlot
Napa Valley
84% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petite Sirah, 3% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
$25, 14% abv.

Smooth cherry aromas and flavors with a hint of coffee on the edge. Mild, round body with a gentle finish. Excellent Old World balance at work here.

2011 Charles Krug Family Reserve Generations
Napa Valley
87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 3% Merlot
$50, 13.9% abv.

My favorite of the tasting, this bottle showed complex aromas of plum and stewed fruit but with low tannins and a delicate mouthfeel. Well-aged at this point but with great potential over the next few years. Highly recommended, and serve with rare lamb.

2011 Charles Krug Family Reserve Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley
95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec
$75, 13.7% abv.

The most Bordeaux-like of the the three Bordeaux-style blends, this Cab Sav showed up early with hints of pyrazine, tobacco, leather, and cassis. Firmer tannins than the Generations, and one that benefits from longer breathing now and longer aging in the future. But otherwise a phenomenal steak wine, and a great choice for those that want a stronger red on the table.

Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.

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