Wednesday, July 4, 2012

RH Phillips 2005 Toasted Head Cabernet Sauvignon - Alexander Valley (California)

If you go to the Toasted Head website there is absolutely nothing about this wine (and I'm not just talking about the year, nothing about a Reserve wine at all) - I suspect it's not made anymore; the full name of this Toasted Head wine (according to the writings on the bottle) is "Toasted Head Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Barrel Reserve" ... the reason I even bring any of this up is because this wine turned out to be an excellent find in my cellar.  Being that it is the fourth of July I thought it only right to pull out something  American - and serve it with steak and potatoes.  This Cab came to my attention while rooting around in the cellar where I spied this Toasted Head wine peering back at me.  Now I'll admit Toasted Head is not always a favourite, the Chardonnay I find too woody for my taste, so this version of Cab had me a little leery from the get-go ... but I find those wines are the ones that surprise me the most.  On opening the wood hit me quickly on both the nose and palate, but within a few minutes things started to settle down and get more interesting: smoky/toasty notes (to be expected), cassis, dark berries with a hint of dried cherries and as everything started to come into focus with a little time in glass the wine came off as spiced just-right with some pleasant vanilla and cinnamon notes within all the fruit.  By the time the wine hit its stride, some 45 minutes after opening, there was a sweet fruit smoothness caressing the tongue.  I was really glad to have opened this one when I did, it showed that the Toasted Head brand can show finesse and complexity.

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