After retiring from the U.S. Army in the late 60’s, Norman Robinson bought land in the Stags Leap district of Napa Valley with the intention of planting a vineyard and starting a winery. He picked a good spot because his neighbor was Napa vineyard pioneer Nathan Fay. (The Fay Vineyard bottling of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars now sells for around $200 a bottle.) Robinson now has the next generation of his family running this tiny hillside estate winery (less than 500 cases of the Cabernet is made) selling most of their wines to restaurants and collectors. One of the specialties for the Robinson Family Vineyard winery is library releases for their wines. They hold back a certain amount of their production to be released to restaurants when they feel the wine is ready to drink (restaurants don’t like aging the wines themselves).
The wine itself has a beautiful, classic deep purple Cabernet color in the glass, leading to some bright ruby along the edges. The nose just explodes with rich aromas that immediately signal to my brain that a great glass of wine is on the way, blackberry, cassis, leather, oak, red meat and some hints of tar. The taste is a subdued blast of fruit up front, some plum and raisin flavors that transitions to some smoky spice and coffee midpalate. The tannins are incredibly well structured, providing for a long, smooth dry finish where the flavors continue evolve right up to the end. Simply wonderful!
Overall I would rate this wine a solid 9, it's just simply a great Cabernet from a great vintage that is drinking spectacularly now! Granted, it's not an everyday wine, as I happened to luck out getting some of this one from Russo's since it was delivered to a restaurant in Michigan by mistake (they wanted the 2005 vintage). So even though the regular price on this wine was $60, I bought it for $45! Tonight I'm enjoying this wine (perhaps a little too much) with a rare New York Strip, grilled Brussels sprouts and some roasted purple potatoes. This is a perfect wine for a big ol' steak, cheers!