FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

<< Back to Robb Report, December 2008

With the growing popularity of wine collecting, copious wine clubs have cropped up to cater to every oenophilic taste. Whether you have a passion for Priorat or a love of the Loire, a wine club exists to keep your habit amply supplied with the latest releases. Yet relatively few clubs offer members the opportunity to receive older vintages from top producers. Pam and Bruce Boring had this goal in mind when they established the California Wine Club Aged Cabernet Series, a new service of their existing club that delivers superb vintages of Sonoma and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons that have been aged 10 to 15 years, from such producers as Jordan, Heitz, and Clos du Val. Included with each shipment of two different bottles (available on a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly basis) are current tasting notes from the winemaker on the vintage, as well as the original notes from the year of release. A recent offering comprised the elegant Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 1995—a dark wine still redolent of wild berries and black cherry—and the outstanding Joseph Phelps Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1997, which exudes aromas of roasted coffee and chocolate, presenting a dense palate immersed in blackberry and orange pekoe tea. ($150–$235 per shipment) www.cawineclub.com

When The Glenrothes first introduced the 1985 vintage single-malt scotch as a 12-year-old in 1997, the aromatic, spicy whisky sold out within months. In 2005 the Speyside distillery revisited the popular vintage and bottled a second expression. Recently released in the United States, the 20-year-old Glenrothes 1985 Vintage exhibits rich, creamy notes as a result of its long exposure to sherry oak butts. On the nose it shows a full bouquet of raisin and plum, while on the palate, dried fruits, vanilla, chocolate, latte foam, and spice cede to a smooth oak finish. This whisky pairs exceptionally well with a sweet, nutty Montecristo Platinum Toro cigar. ($120) www?.theglenrothes.com

The new Scotch comes from one of Scotland’s oldest and smallest distilleries…
The cigar uses a mixture of new and aged tobaccos to achieve a serenely mellow flavor…
The iconic Kentucky bourbon makes a comeback…
The multi-vintage Champagne is a blend of 142 wines from 11 different years…
Photograph courtesy of hotel Matlali
Savored rather than shot, these tequila-based beverages give the spirit the respect it deserves…
Photo by Holly Houk
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Sommeliers have their own version of the desert-island question: If you could drink from only one...
These aged tequilas prove that the once derided spirit has come into its own…
The limited-edition distillation pays tribute to the Norse god Odin…
The spirit distinguishes itself by employing Japanese ingredients and techniques…