Contrast in cabs

Deep-cellar owner Billy Dratel was in with his family and friends from Australia — was it this week? — and brought two California cabernets of wildly differing styles, both delicious.

The Honig was a 2002 and was like Yoohoo for adults, chocolately, smooth, It was extracted, but not jammy. It was opened first and everyone loved it.

The 2000 Heitz was the opposite, herbal, ripe tannins with some grip left, softened fruit flavors, in other words: food wine. Eric Asimov recently wrote an article about food friendly California cabernets with Heitz as one example.

Since honig (with a small “h”) started the 89project, I now look up ratings on the wine I taste. It seems the 2002 Honig cab was not reviewed by Parker, but Wine Spectator weighed in. And for the first time I noticed this: after searching by rating on WS’s website one can click to a pdf “shelf talker” of the review, which is in this case included a score of 88. Shelf talkers are used by retailers to help sell wine, and if one needed another reason to believe that the Wine Spectator is in the business of selling wine, magazines, one needn’t look further. The review also says the wine was “Tight, dry.” Evidently this wine softens considerably in bottle.

A review of the Heitz was not done by either publication.

I hope I can stop looking up ratings.



Filed under Frisky Business

2 responses to “Contrast in cabs

  1. Yup, definitely “honig” with a small “h.” I know that because I called Honig and asked for the family discount. They said “no.”

    In 2002 Honig also produced a limited release single vineyard Cab, Bartolucci Vineyards. I have a case of it, but have not opened one yet.

  2. cellarette

    That must be part of an extensive vertical in your basement.

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