2009 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon, Monte Bello Ridge, Betchart Vineyard
Last weekend the Petite Sirah tastings were not quite up to standard but I wanted to leave out any others non-PS wines because I did not want to mix oil with wine (no slight intended). What I did not talk about in the Petite Sirah post was that we started the evening with one of the best wines I have tasted in some, the 2009 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon, Monte Bello Ridge, Betchart Vineyard.
The last time we enjoyed this wine, it was showing old world leanings and it is still doing that. However, the body has become more extracted and the nose starts to show notes of date! This is absolutely the first Four Gates wine, that I can remember, that showed notes of date! The date is prominent only on the nose, while the black and red body is still quite old world, with deep bramble and forest berries notes, while still being intensely concentrated, rich, layered, and unbelievably balanced with good acid, green notes, ripe blackberry, and wonderful oak influence on the long and intensely rich finish. Bravo Benyo and thanks so much for sharing this bottle with all of us. This wine was ready to party from the time we opened the bottle and all the time throughout the meal.
The wine note follows below:
2009 Four Gates Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: A- to A
The fruit for this lovely old-world Cabernet comes from Betchart Vineyard on Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I have been able to watch this progress from press to bottling, and it has gone from a rich red fruit wine, to a hybrid rich old-world wine with big red fruit along with some lovely black fruit. This tasting showed two changes, date and cedar! I have found that many of Benyo’s wines start off with oak notes and aromas, but as they age the notes turn deeper and more concentrated and become cedar – not sure why or how, but it is unique and cool. A unique Cabernet that is rich, extracted, balanced, yet oak influenced in a lovely manner, this is not a big black new-world Cabernet! The nose on this purple to black colored wine is screaming with cloves, date, graphite, kirsch cherry, raspberry, blackberry, red fruit, tobacco, mint, and anise. The mouth on the full-bodied brute of a wine is super rich, extracted, layered, and concentrated, with nice black and red forest berry, plum, currant, eucalyptus, and green bell pepper, all wrapped up in a cedar box filled with spice and still big round and mouth coating tannin that makes for a rich and spicy mouthfeel. The finish is long, lovely, smoky (no dead animal here), and spicy with more tannin, chocolate, tobacco, cinnamon, red fruit, black pepper, more spice, and a nice hit of vanilla. The chocolate, oak, cloves, herbs, red fruit, and vanilla linger long. Drink by 2016 or 2017.