at Patroon House in Glenmont, NY (5/6/2004)

The WCC got together for a blind tasting of 1994 California Cabernet-based wines at the Patroon House in Glenmont, NY. A very good restaurant which sadly closed c. 2007. I coordinated the choice of wines from individuals' cellars to make sure there were no duplicates. So the tasting was single blind for me, double blind for everyone else (except of course for the wines they each brought). I believe all were purchased on released and well stored. Most were decanted an hour or so before the tasting began (except where noted). For each flight, the wines were poured and tasted before the food, then tasted again with the food.

The notes, and the scores after the notes, are mine. Most wines that weren't ready got a range of scores representing their potential. I also took most of the bottles home with a small amount left in each and accidently left them open (uncorked in a cardboard box) for 2 days in my cellar until I tasted them again.

At the end of the tasting, before revealing the wines, the group voted. The group felt there were so many good wines, we should forego our usual ordered ranking, so each person just gave their top wines (usually 3 but 2 or 4 in a couple of cases). After the name of each wine, I list the number of group votes for that wine and the group ranking based on these votes.

Flight 1
With Carpaccio of Beef accompanied by Arugula and shaved Parmesan, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil)
Great dish, an excellent choice for a first course in an all cab tasting.

Flight 2
With Seared Breast of Duck served with a sweet chili glaze and Ancho chili smashed potatoes.
The dish was great, but fought with the wines. Notes on the wines are without food.

Flight 3
With Petit Filet Mignon with seared foie Gras, Andouille sausage-sweet potato hash and a caramelized balsamic reduction.
This is a fabulous dish, which not surprisingly matches beautifully with the wines.

Flight 4
With cheese plate.

Clearly the positive surprise of the night was the Rubicon. The negative surprises were the Bryant, the Mondavi and the Pride. Still, the group felt these wines showed very well, and that this is clearly a great vintage for California Cabernet. The Shafer, the Dominus and the Insignia were my favorites. Anybody want to trade me the Shafer or the Insignia for Mondavi reserve? ;)




All original content © Ken Vastola