Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Let's visit the Chicken Ranch...

You've never heard of 
Chicken Ranch Cabernet?
You, my friend, deserve to treat yourself right and find a bottle of this terrific Napa Valley single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

Produced by Trinchero Family Estates, the people that have brought you everything from Newman's Own, Little Boomie, Menage a Trois, Folie a Deux and Joel Gott, to Sutter Home. (Yep, that Sutter Home, responsible for the development of White Zinfandel and the cultivation of wine as a daily beverage for the average American back in the 70's.) Wine Spectator said that Bob Trinchero had “introduced more Americans to wine on the table than anyone else in history.” Now that's quite an accomplishment!

Trinchero Family Estates in Napa is laughingly referred to by their staff as the, "House that White Zin built..." largely because their White Zinfandel is the cash cow that provides the resources that have allowed them to develop other very successful brands. Bringing us back to their own eponymous label ~ Trinchero Napa Valley.  They produce 12 high-end, low-production wines; six of them are single- vineyard Cabs... And all luscious.

Their most readily available (3,330 cases produced), and entry-priced ($35.00), Cabernet is the Chicken Ranch. The grapes for the Chicken Ranch are sourced out of the famed Rutherford Bench growing area of Napa, along Highway 29.  This wine will be a bit difficult to locate because it has (mostly) a restaurant distribution; it's usually available through the winery, but the '07 vintage has been sold out for awhile and the '08 is not expected to be released until later this fall.

So, alot of information about the wine, but how does it taste? What's it drinking like right now?

In the glass the Chicken Ranch is very pretty, crimson to purple in color, with a tinge of magenta/pink on the rim. With a bit of air, it begins to unfold with aromas of sweet, dusty fruit. In the mouth it feels medium to full-bodied, with a hit of tart, red-fruit* up front ~ like sour cherries, or cranberries, wrapped in a deep, dark chocolate powder, it tastes dusty, with a chalky/mineral quality and soft dry tannins. The finish is fairly long, with spice-like, lightly licorice notes.  I opened this bottle two days ago and it was delicious, but it has continued to evolve and open up and is still fresh today. The winery suggests it is ready to drink now, but capable of being cellared for another 10 years.
Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it ~ Love it!
Salud! KathyD

* In my review, I said that I tasted tart, red fruit ~ like cranberries or sour cherries... I wasn't content with that and I googled red currants, because I've only tasted red currant jam, and that is definitely sweet. Click on the link and you will find that red currants are "quite tart," so now I have expanded my palate to include red currants ~ Awesome! That's why I love studying wine, every day is a new discovery that will enhance your wine experience! kd

Trinchero Napa Valley, and their Chicken Ranch Vineyard Cabernet:

San Francisco Chronicle Top 15 out of 80 wines tasted...

San Francisco Chronicle, May 2010:  Trinchero Chicken Ranch Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 ($35) "With help from winemaker Mario Monticelli, the Trincheros are getting serious about their single-vineyard efforts. Produced from a parcel on the edge of St. Helena this shows off the subtlety of valley-floor fruit done right. Filled with a juicy plum notes, plus accents of dried leaves and graphite. Forty-five percent new French oak needs time to fold in, but it's a classic, seamless profile with solid herb-edged tannins."

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