12 March 2014

2011 50 Harvests Cabernet Sauvignon

Like many Italian immigrants, the family behind Scotto Cellars made small batches of wine in New York City at the turn of the last century. I'm not sure where he got his grapes for making gallon jugs to sell down at the docks, but at the time a lot of California grapes and juice headed eastward on trains to be made by home winemakers--a tradition that actually continued throughout the Prohibition era. After getting into the retail business, the family moved out to California in 1963. Now the company holds an extensive portfolio of brands, but today we'll be looking at the one called 50 Harvests.

50 Harvests is named in honor of that 1963 move to the Golden State, picked in 2011 and released last November after a stay in a combination of new French oak and two year old neutral oak barrels. The sample arrived in the half bottle format, though I've provided the pricing information for the full bottle. Generally the difference is that the smaller bottle will age a little more quickly, which can be a benefit with stronger red wines. You get a preview of how the wine might taste a little further down the road, and it's a perfect size for two people to enjoy over dinner. (Note that the 375mL bottle is not available for retail sale, but was provided for review purposes.)

2011 50 Harvests Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley
94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
$50/750mL, 13.9% abv.

Gentle cassis and leather aromas. Firm black fruit flavors with a solid tannic finish. Great balance of fruit with earthier undertones, and one that should age gracefully for the next few years. If you're looking for a classic Napa Cab to go with that perfectly aged ribeye, this would be an excellent choice.

Note: This wine was provided as a sample for review.

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