This weekend the weather was nothing short of perfect, so after working all day in the yard and garden, we set out to properly satiate ourselves.  As a friend once said, “Cab & Cow” – so off we went to break in our friend’s new patio.
The 2009 Markham Napa Cabernet is quite simply a gorgeous wine.  I remember buying this by the case, when the 1994 vintage was released. It was about $12 then.  🙂  Alas, it’s more now, but the quality is still there.  It’s deep purple in the glass all the way to the rim.  The wine is wonderful to smell, with intense black plum aromas, slight olive and herb, and a bit of mineral.  It’s juicy, ripe and balanced in the mouth and a bit more elegant than one would expect given it’s youth.  It was an unexpected contrast compared to the next wine.  Available locally for about $24, good stuff and worth the money.  92 points. 

2009 Markham Napa Valley Cabernet

The next wine up was the 2008 Innisfree Napa Valley Cabernet.  This is the “second” wine of Joseph Phelps, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this isn’t a quality Cabernet. The Innisfree is just as dark as the Markham, but despite being a year older, it struck me as more masculine and full bodied than the former. It was interesting to have them side by side. Stylistically, there was a stark difference.  The Innisfree is deeply flavored with black fruits, slight pepper, and more aggressive tannins than the Markham.  Full bodied, ripe and round, it has the stuffing to cellar easily for 3-5 years. Balanced and delicious.  Hard to resist now, especially with the tannins, that were melted away by the beef.  The beauty part is that this wine costs only $15.  A steal at that price.  91 points. 

2008 Innisfree Napa Valley Cabernet
That’s the Cabs.  Here’s the cow!   When a piece of meat is this perfect, there’s nothing to do but add salt and pepper.  Seared at 600 for about 2 minutes on all sides, we then moved it to the spit for about another 40 minutes.  It was perfectly rare.  My Wild Mushroom Ragout was on the side, along with broccoli and baked potatoes.  It was, slightly gluttonous.  But hey, this thing did feed 4 people……

4 1/2″ thick Tuscan Bistecca Fiorentina

Ci Vediamo!

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