Posts Tagged ‘Napa Valley


In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 108 – Conn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa Valley

Conn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa ValleyTomorrow begins my second semester teaching Introduction to Creative Writing at SUNY Brockport, so I’m going to start the semester off in style with Conn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa Valley. The wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Wine Enthusiast gave it 93 points, so I’m psyched. So let’s get to it.


It poured out bubbly. Maybe I held the decanter wrong. Anyway, it’s dark ruby in color and about 90% opaque.

The first thing I thought of when I smelled this was clear. Then I thought of a mountain stream with a bank of flowers. The nose is very gentle. It doesn’t smell big like a typical cab. I also pick up a hint of cantaloupe. But really it has almost no nose. Maybe it needs more time decanting. It’s been just over an hour, so you wouldn’t think it would, especially for an American wine. Or maybe it needs to age more. It’s probably the latter.

It’s thick and caramel-y in texture. I taste plums and cherries on the palate.

It finishes spicy and with dry, dark berries. On the long finish, there’s some smoke and nuts and wood, like cedar I guess. I’m not good with the wood, but I pictured cedar. Actually, I pictured the smooth top of a cedar desk. Something like:

Spanish Cedar Desk

Right now, this wine isn’t worth the $20 I paid for it, but I think it will be in a few years. I’d say pick up a bottle or two and store them for a few years. It’s just not ready, especially when there are so many good cabs at a less expensive price. Right now I give this like 88 points.

WAIT! Redux.

It’s been like an hour-and-a-half, and it’s finally opening. The nose has a body now and scents. There are still flowers, and my girlfriend says gardenias. I also get yellow plums and hint of chocolate.

The texture is more chalky now. The finish is less spicy, but nutty. On the palate there are purple plums and William Carlos Williams wife reading:

This Is Just to SayThis Is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Poor Florence Williams 😦

Still this wine needs some time aging. I’m still giving it 88 points.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day forty-three

So the other day I told you about the idea for an epic poem about the needle. Well, I wrote a three-page poem about the early days of the needle with a Cro-Magnon narrator, though it’s not a narrative poem. Here’s the first line:

Once I saw a spider weave a star

The Red Spider Planetary Nebula

It's not a star. It's the Red Spider Planetary Nebula.

It seems like that line should have been written before. Anyway.

It’s an energetic poem. This poem truly is, as Philip Whalen says, a graph of the mind moving. It has leaps. Haiku leaps. It is jumping with sensation. Despite how much I like it, there is still more to write. But I think I’ll have to write number of poems. Each one will be a about the needle in a certain place in history or its use or whatever comes to me. Hopefully, it will be a surprise.

I still have a few minor revisions to do, and then I’ll it send off. In the meanwhile . . .

To the Californian Cabernet Sauvignon mini tour.

Hmm. It seems I’ve had this before on thirty-four. Let’s see if I get the same notes.

Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Today’s Californian Cabernet Sauvignon is the Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Napa Valley. I’m assured this will be good. Just looking at the darkness of this wine, I can tell it will have a big body and will taste fine.

What a good nose. Big, deep, plummy earthy with a hint of vanilla. I’m getting psyched.

It’s got a good body that’s just about the right size for a Cabernet Sauvignon. It has slightly leathery texture, as well. You know what, I get pomegranates. Lovely pomegranates. And there might be some cinnamon, too.

Cherries and plums are on the finish.

Today, I really like this. Last time I was okay with it, though last time I got salty bacon on the nose.

I’ll give this at least 89 points. Is it 90? Ninety is special. You know what. It’s getting juicy, and I love juicy. So 90 points it is.

This is a fun wine. Yeah, I like this Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day forty

Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Yay! It’s day forty of the tour. To celebrate I will do another mini tour — a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon tour. I got some really good ones and some I will find about. One of the ones I will find out about is Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Napa Valley.

I just poured a glass, and as it flowed into the wine glass, I thought, “What a brilliant ruby color.” Plus, it’s about 95% opaque, so things are looking good. Ha.

On the nose are wild mushrooms, a steak Montreal, some sour cherries, earthiness, and muskiness.

This wine wants to be juicy but the pepper and this sizzling sensation are getting in the way. I also get tart cherries.

It’s also thinner than I thought. I’m starting to think I should rename this overall tour — In Pursuit of the Juiciest and Big Bodied Wine Tour.

Anyway, this isn’t a $14 wine, as it is marked. It’s $9 or $10. I give it 87 points.

Day 40 wasn’t so great. Sigh. However, there are definitely some good Cabernet Sauvignons coming up.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day thirty-six

Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2005I’ve been laying out Redactions: Poetry & Poetics lucky issue 13 for most of the day today. I’m nearly done. In the issue is a wonderful poet from Napa, CA. I was jealous when I saw she lived there, but now I’m going to make her jealous. I’m going to drink Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 from Napa Valley, CA.

The other day I Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, and I fell in love. It was the best wine I’ve had in a long, long time. I was going to get it again, despite the price, but when I saw the last bottle of 2005, I changed my mind. I had to try the 2005 and compare it with the 2006.

I like the red, wax-stamp blotch on the label. That, as far as I can tell, indicates 2005. The squiggly lines or intertwined grape vines indicate 2006.

(Reminder: This Hall is Craig and Kathryn Hall. It’s not Robert Hall.)

So here we go with the 2005. I doubt it will be as good as the 2006, but here goes.


The meniscus is not transparent. That means it’s mature or close to it. The wine itself is dark purple that’s about 97.5% opaque.

It has a nose of menthol and cigarette smoke. Hey, who was smoking when they made this wine? I also get ripe cherries. It’s such an interesting nose. There’s one dominant smell I’m trying to identify. Nutmeg. Figs. Musky. (My girlfriend says it smells manly and like a cologne.)

It’s spicy. It’s thin for Cabernet Sauvignon. And it’s slippery or oily.

Spicy and tart finish. The finish is reminiscent of the Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, which I tried the other day, too. And on the long finish, a bit bitter.

This certainly is not as good as the 2006. It’s on par with the just mentioned Rutherford.

It’s definitely not worth spending $40 or even the $30 sale price currently at Mahan’s. For $10, it’s good. I just don’t like the finish. Maybe it will change with more time and food, but, I’m meh on this.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day thirty-four

Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Yesterday’s Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley was awesome, so I’m going to try another. This time Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.

This will be quick. Allons-y.

This has a thick two-layered meniscus. Clear up top and pinkish on the bottom. It’s not as opaque as I would expect from a cab. I can see through it from top to bottom, barely, but I can. But if I add those two perceptions together, I conclude with a wine that is probably still a bit young.

Nonetheless, it is open. So allons-y, again.

There is some pepper on the nose. There are juicy cherries and plums. Red, bright cherries. Way back is some bacon, too. Salty bacon.

At this stage, about 15 minutes, it is also like the Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 was 15 minutes in – dry and juicy.

A cab usually has a bigger body than this, but I can deal with the body. It resembles a Merlot body to me and Merlot texture.

It has a tart finish.

The nose is definitely the best part of this wine. I like the texture and it tastes good. The finish is tart and a little distracting.

Another 15 minutes passes. . . .

The bottle has been open for about 30 minutes now. The tart finish is fading away but is still there. This is much more enjoyable.

This is getting pretty good. I’m starting too like it. I’ll probably get this again because the nose is beautiful, and in the mouth, the body, texture, and taste are enjoyable. I’ll ignore the finish.//

The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

The Cave

Material Matters

Poems for an Empty Church

Poems for an Empty Church

The Oldest Stone in the World

The Oldest Stone in the Wolrd

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Pre-Dew Poems

Pre-Dew Poems

Negative Time

Negative Time

After Malagueña

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