FrontRunners: From The Robb Cellar

  • Robb Report Staff

Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
Shafer’s signature wine, Hillside Select, is precisely that: Handpicked from dry, flinty blocks of shallow volcanic soil in the Stags Leap District, the fruit is smaller and, consequently, of greater flavor intensity, than examples of Cabernet Sauvignon found elsewhere in the Napa Valley, where the earth is richer and more moist. Chocolate and cherries trumpet on the tongue, while mineral and wood flavors roll across the palate, culminating in a pure, long-lasting, and resonant crescendo. ($150) 707.944.2877, www.shafervineyards.com

Vérité Le Désir 2000
Pierre Seillan began his unique partnership with Jess Jackson (founder of Kendall-Jackson) in the late 1990s. Their aim: to produce in Sonoma Bordeaux-style wines with a singularly Californian twist—in other words, beautifully structured and balanced red blends that take advantage of the ripe fruit bestowed by the Golden State’s sunny clime. Le Désir consists of 51 percent Merlot, 16 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, and 33 percent Cabernet Franc sourced from the volcanic soil of Knights Valley. This complex and charming combination (available only from the winery) sits pleasingly in the glass, displaying a deep color matched by brooding flavors of blackberry and black cherry, as well as a vivid creaminess that is undercut by a touch of wood and smoke. ($100) 707.433.9000,
www.veritewines.com

JAMESON GOLD
While Scottish malts tend to dominate the greedy fantasies of whiskey drinkers worldwide, at times, only a touch of the Irish will strike the truly gratifying chord. Generally of a subtler nature than their Scottish cousins, Irish whiskeys are made from malted and unmalted barley, which is dried in a closed kiln rather than an open one, leaving them free of the smoky essences associated with whiskies from Scotland. Gold is a blend of rare whiskeys ranging in age from eight to 20 years, some of which are aged in bourbon-seasoned American oak and Spanish Oloroso casks. The result is a sweet, wood-toasted burnish, followed by a soft lemon cream, which is capped off, in turn, by a pleasantly mellow yet bitter bite. ($65)
Jameson Irish Whiskey, www.jameson.ie

Read Next Article >>
Photo by Paul Dimalanta
At the Judgment of Paris in 1976, a bottle of Chardonnay from the Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena...
As prices for rare Cubans rise, it is getting harder to put a match to the most collectible cigars...
Packshot Factory
Back by popular demand, Supernova is one of the most robust single malts ever produced...
After 22 years of aging, the second installment of the 1992 vintage has reached full maturity…
Now in its 15th year, the wine- and food-filled festival has raised more than $123 million for...
Photo by Cordero Studios
The Arturo Fuente 100th Anniversary Destino Siglo ($416–$520; www.cigar​family.com) is aptly...
Earthy mushrooms, both pungent and delicate, will enhance every sip of these Cabernet Sauvignons,...
HIGHLAND PARK DISTILLERY Highland Park is made today with the same enduring belief and integrity,...
Photo by Cordero Studios
For the longest time, most serious wine drinkers adhered to the notion that California wines did...
The vibrant and deep notes of these wonderful white wines and brilliant rosé Champagne marry...