The Christian Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon, a tasting of the 1985 vintage.
  • Tasting notes:
  • 1985 Vintage
  • Type: Red Wine
  • Producer: The Christian Brothers
  • Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Designation n/a
  • Vineyard n/a
  • Country: USA
  • Region: California
  • Sub Region: Napa Valley
  • Appellation: Napa Valley

This story starts... with the finding of a long forgotten box of wine.

Unearthed while cleaning out the unfinished dirt basement under our Whistler chalet (A proper cool dark cellar style basement).  I was rather excited to see that one of the bottles was a 1985 Napa Valley Cab Sauvignon but further research informed us that its original selling price was a paltry $9.  So we were intrigued to see if it would be drinkable or plonk.  Now its Mothers day 2016 and our family celebrated by coming together for a BBQ dinner.  We cooked steaks which would pair perfectly with the wine we retrieved from the recently found treasure box.  The removal of the wine's tin cap revealed a intact cork showing no leakage.  A boost to my confidence that we had a treat in store.  The cork was firmly lodged and did not come willingly.  I had to resort to a second attempt to remove the crumbling lower half.  I managed to retrieve it from the bottle with only a few fragments remaining.  As I decanted the deep dark red wine wonderful aromas of a summer of 30 years ago was released.  This was the third great sign!  Now i was wishing i had stood the bottle up for a few hours before opening it, but the chase of the claret by the silky tannin's had begun and i had to keep pouring less ruin the clarity of the decanted wine.  Now you know the back story... On to the tasting.

The first sips revealed ample acidity and violets on the nose.  Although there was a some oxidization over the 30 odd years this gem spent in the cellar it showed abundant acidity and maintained some of its fruit character in soft cherry as well as lingering leather on the pallet.  Winemaker Tom Eddy has produced a wine which has stood the test of time.  It seems that the move to small oak barrels in the early 80's produced a wine that aged gracefully. The real cork closure as opposed to the stelvin or screw cap closure that was chosen by Eddy obviously aided this 1985 vintage in its maturation into a delightfully surprising Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Happy Mothers Day!

~Geoff and Dave~