|Inside tasting room/|
But, would you believe, the Cabs are just as wonderful if not more so? I should mention first, that I am not a big fan of some of the overly ripe, fruit forward type Napa Cabs that have become popular in recent years. I do not dislike them. But I grew up in the old school where the 1970 BV Reserve Cab was pretty close to ideal. (I still remember and love that wine and never grew tired of it although I had many bottles of it.) Back then it was more about subtlety, complexity, balance, refinement and less about being overwhelming, huge or having super ripe forward fruit. Oak was important but needed to be balanced. In some ways, the Kelly Fleming Cab has some of this old style in that it has subtlety and complexity rather than mere power or just ripe fruit. It is certainly not lacking in great fruit, however. It will age, but I don’t think you would want to cellar it for twenty years. The word “elegant” is over used with reference to wines, especially great Cabs. So I won’t call these Cabs elegant. How about perfectly balanced, layered, complex, and interesting with voluptuous fruit? It has the rich fruit that many people love but also has enough complexity to appeal to more traditionalists.
|Mustard field near Kelly Fleming|
Addendum 2/24/12: Tasting wines at a winery or wine event has its limitations. We all know that every one’s palate is different and some people have a far better senses of smell or taste than others do. Many years of wine tasting experience can also make a tremendous difference in how a person perceives a particular wine. Then there are the factors of how the bottle was handled, the chemistry inside that one particular bottle, the temperature of the wine when served, what the taster ate previously, how the taster feels, whether the wine was aerated or opened prior to drinking (and for how long), how many other wines the taster has had to drink or spit that day, the type of wine glass it is served in…the list goes on. Even the most famous wine tasters in the world have about a five-point variation span on a 100-point scale with wines that they taste again under blind conditions. (And the 100-point scale is really more of a 70-100 point scale with a range of 30 points. So think of a 5 point spread in a 30-point scale and you can see how an expert’s taste might vary.) Even in double blind tastings, it is a unique experience, subject to many variables. At a winery you are influenced by the atmosphere and setting, the service, the price of the wine, knowing what the wine is, having only a small portion to taste, etc.
Kelly Fleming Cabs have the sumptuous fruit of newer style Napa Cabs with the complexity of older style Napa Cabs. We just love them!!! You will have to try them yourself to see if, as Dylan Thomas said, they make your “toenails tingle.”
2339 Pickett Rd.
Calistoga, CA 94515
Date of visit: February 15, 2012