Gold Medal – California State Fair
A couple months ago we ran into Barry Collier at a San Francisco wine tasting event. While tasting his new releases we asked if he had anything unique hiding at the winery. He mentioned to us that he had a little of his 2002 Cabernet resting in his warehouse and said it was tasting great right now. It made us think about the how good the 2003 vintage was when we featured it a while back. When Barry said let's make a deal and give everyone "a gift this holiday season", we jumped at the chance when we could offer the 2002 vintage for $18, half of its original asking price. We had a samples sent over right away, and were delighted to find out that the 2002 lived up to our expectations. This is definitely one you do not want to miss.
The 2002 Collier Falls Cabernet Sauvignon is ruby garnet in color, with a nose of black cherry, vanilla, currant, and just the slightest hint of green pepper that lets you know you have Cabernet in your glass. The palette is smooth and remarkably fresh for a wine nearly 10 years old, with blackberry, cassis, and cherry flavors accompanied by a subtle hint of pine. Good acidity carries through on the finish, with an extra layer of depth introduced from a tiny percentage of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot included in the blend. This is a truly lovely Cabernet, with bottle age that make it perfect for drinking now, yet a vibrancy suggesting it still has several years of life in it, and at $18, you will not regret stocking up on this one.
You rarely find Cabernet perfectly aged, this concentrated, this balanced, and so true to its varietal character at any price; at $17.99 this is an incredible bargain!
Harvest Dates: September 16, 2002
Average Degree Brix: 25
Bottling Date: August 2004
Blend: 97% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 3% Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot
Aging: 22 months in 100% French oak barrels
Fermentation: Closed top, aerative pump-overs
Skin Contact: 45 days (alcoholic fermentation & extended maceration)
Racked: 5 times previous to bottling
Total Cases Made: 990 750ml
Collier Falls Vineyard is a 100-acre hillside property, located in the northwest corner of Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County, California. The property was purchased in 1997 by Barry and Susan Collier from Don and Rhonda Carano of Ferrari-Carano Winery. Originally planted in 1982 as an eight-acre Zinfandel vineyard, Collier Falls expanded its vineyards in 1997 with eight more acres of Primitivo. In 1998, ten additional acres were planted, three to Zinfandel and seven to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot. A sixty-foot waterfall on the property gives this wine its name, but hillside vineyards tucked into the northwest corner of the valley provide its true character. Vines densely planted on terraces of rocky clay soil compete with each other for nutrients, giving the grapes complexity, while hot days and cool nights create the perfect microclimate for Dry Creek Zinfandel. Hand-harvested grapes, delicately crushed, give the winemaker juice concentrated with flavors of red berry and spice. Aging in both French and American oak barrels creates balance and distinctiveness. Collier Falls produces annual private reserve bottlings of 1500 cases of estate-bottled Zinfandel, 300 cases of an estate Primitivo, less than 1000 cases of the "Hillside-Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon and 100 cases of a "Hillside-Estate" Petite Sirah.
More at www.collierfalls.com.