I’m learning to pick vineyards I like that I can rely on rather than specific vintages, especially from this (Napa) extremely reliable growing region. However, with that said, 2004 was reported to be a low-yield, high-quality year for Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley. It is for this reason that on a visit to Conn Creek a couple years ago that we picked up this specific Napa Valley wine. When we visited, we found the wine to be a bit tight and hoped that it would mellow a bit in time to drink it. With a little patience, which I admit I’m generally low on when it comes to wine, we were rewarded.
This weekend, I picked up a strip steak at the Rittenhouse market from local purveyor Rineer Family Farm in addition to some great sweet potatoes. The steak, simply prepared went perfectly with this Cabernet. Many people automatically pair Cabernet Sauvignon with a steak,but I feel that there is some restraint required here. Many Cabs, especially those from (one of my favorite regions) Napa and its surrounding AVAs are very fruit forward and thus challenging to pair with food.
In the case of this Conn Creek Eisele Vineyard Cab, that was not the case. I found the fruit restrained and the overall wine quite balanced. If anything, I noted a dried raspberry and some mocha overtones to round it out…or maybe that was the coffee infused chocolate I had after the steak. Either way, for $45 this is a very reasonable Cab which I’m sorry to report is only available from the vineyard; I guess it’s time for a return trip.