The next Block is in—and it may be the strongest.
The response from the first three Block reviews (512 Sonoma Coast, 925 Howell Mountain, and 345 Rutherford) has been amazing. People try these wines—not knowing much about them—and realize they’ve stumbled upon something special and want to find out more. The same thing happened to me, and I was further intrigued by how little information was actually available. So I set out to change that.
Pulsing in color, the garnet and purple juice tints and holds the inside of the glass. There is no hiding that this is an exceptionally concentrated wine, explosively ripe and extracted beyond the reaches of what seems possible outside of Australia. In my opinion, for a wine this gushing to succeed, it should be joined by an equally elaborate flavor profile. It should combine complexity and harmony—beyond the vinous equivalent of a balanced teeter-totter of chewy currants and oaky vanilla.
The nose boasted exotic aromas of plantains and brown sugar. The berries, dark and plentiful, included baked blueberries, currant, and cherry. A robe of fresh coffee grinds appeared all over the nose and palate—the same crossover quality was apparent with the wet, raw tobacco that was present on the nose and midpalate.
Surprisingly, there is no heat on this wine—instead an amazing mineral coolness keeps this wine riding low in the mouth and out of the sinuses.
Decanting is counterproductive with the Yountville. There was a definite moderating of flavors as the hours passed with an unfortunate loss of some of the early exotics.
As this wine sat under air, the tannins came out of hiding and reigned in the fun, adding a touch of civility. This is the point where the Yountville becomes more classically Cabernet Sauvignon. But, it was the varietal liberties that I really had fun with, the expressive/spontaneous/exotic/enthusiastic face that carried this wine out of the gate.
I am thrilled to announce that the C+C southern support staff has pulled through in a major way by gathering another seven Block wines for review. C+C will soon become the official unofficial Block resource center. I am so excited by these wines. The execution is flawless, from concept to quality, label design, to their elusiveness. Vineyard Block Estate masterfully “de-branded” their wines—it’s all about the district and the juice, nothing else—not even a website.
The Vineyard Block Estate series is composed of special lots, hand selected by their winemakers, from California’s most exclusive wine districts and vineyards. Each lot undergoes meticulous care in the cellar, where individualized fermentations followed by gentle racking to premium oak barrels encourages the site specific flavors in each wine. Only 952 cases produced of this powerful 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Chunky, firm and concentrated with lots of black cherry, cassis, wild berry and plum flavors. The middle has great depth with a hint of chocolate and the finish is complex and seamless. 93 Points Wine Buyer