Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tale of Two Vintages: Jackson Triggs Okanagan Cabernet Sauvignon (British Columbia)

Not sure what possessed me to do this but tonight I thought it a great idea to pull out two bottles of wine from the same winery: same grape variety but different vintages ... why not eh?  If you've got 'em flaunt 'em, or at least pull 'em out and try 'em.  The two wines were Jackson Triggs Proprietors' Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2001 and 2004 vintages.  Starting with the opening of the bottles:  the 2001's cork pretty much disintegrated in the bottle, it was spongy and soft and no matter how I tried I could not get that all the cork out of the bottle.  My last resort was to push the remainder of the cork into the bottle - while an eighth of the cork remained adhered to the side of the neck.  The 2004 was in much better condition and slid out without any hassle what-so-ever.  Colour of the wines were as expected, the 2001 was definitely brickier than the 2004 - though the 2001 was more evidently aged and showed its 12 years more readily, whereas the 2004 did not look to be a wine of 9 years from vintage date.  Initially the 2001 was a nice wine with sweet dried fruit notes and it was quite smooth with just a hint of some tannin or acidity - it was hard to make out what was biting back ... but that was short lived as the wine became very raisiny within 30 minutes and stayed that way for the rest of its life span in the glass (about 2-and-a-half hours) ... it had definitely crested the hill and was hurtling towards the bottom.  The 2004 had the opposite effect:  it started off pretty rough and rugged, almost to the point of being aggressive - but once it settled into the glass it started to reveal its true nature, lots of cassis and other dark fruit with creme de cacao on the palate ... over the course of its lifespan in the glass (same as the 2001) it developed a wonderful texture in the mouth, mixing tannins with a pseudo-creaminess.  Within the course of 2 hours it opened to the point that it was expressing itself with dark fruit (mostly dried) with black licorice and sweet spice.  Truly impressive.  So while the 2001 is definitely on the decline the 2004 is just a hair off its peak and should be drunk this year - yes it has crested the hill but it sure doesn't want to go down with any quickness.

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