Recently tried two top tier wines from the Napa Valley.   The comparison between the two could not have been starker.  One was simply delicious, complex and mouth coating. The other, well….read on.

The 2008 Vineyard 29 Cru Cabernet is nothing short of amazing. This is a blend, made up predominantly of Napa Cabernet (83%) with the balance to the classic Bordeaux varieties in the following proportion: 6% Petite Verdot, 4% Merlot,  4% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Malbec.  The whole is clearly greater than the sum of the parts here. Deep purple in color, viscous with aromas of wild berry, roasted coffee, leather and cocoa. Flavors follow the nose, but add a slight mint character that reminded me of old Heitz wines.  Simply delicious.  95 points.

The other part of this tale is not so good I’m afraid.  Here’s one to avoid:  The 2009 Paloma Merlot.  I’m not sure what happened here as I’ve heard so many good things about this vineyard. Recently picked this up on “sale” – deeply marked down to $44.   I guess I know why it was marked down. Pretty violet color. Nose of artificial candied fruit, cough syrup, menthol and peppers. Unattractive. In the mouth, it’s all sweet candied fruit. Reminded me of Yellow Tail. Very artificial. Soft, lacking structure.  Really not worth the money at all. An easy pass here….  80 points.

Coincidentally, neither of these wines have labels, but instead have screened writing directly to the bottle. It made it a bit hard to get a pic….

2008 Vineyard 29 “Cru” Cabernet & 2009 Paloma Merlot
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