August 21 2008
Imagine a chocolate covered black cherry fist enrobed in a velvet glove. That begins to approximate the 2005 Rockaway Cabernet.
The thing that I really like about this wine is what it isn’t.
* It isn’t overpriced, relative to allocated wines
* It isn’t all fruit and sweet oakiness
* It doesn’t beat you over the head and say, “Look at me”
* It isn’t made for drinking tomorrow; a wine IV drip for an immediate gratification society
The fact is, David Ramey, consulting winemaker for Rockaway, has made something different, something you don’t see very frequently at an approachably priced $75 in the allocated Cab category. He has made a wine that is forbidding, young yet integrated and balanced. As something of a Ramey fan, I know he has the touch to make Cab’s ready to drink now, too. It’s a delicate balance, for sure. But, I’m glad to see a wine of this caliber that DOES NOT come straight out of the bottle ready for the straw to drink it with. It needs air, but more than anything it needs time.
Today you see the acids, the medium small tannins that will mellow to a fine grain, the abundant fruit—kirsch liqueur, dark chocolate, a hint of coffee on the finish, an obvious pedigree that will make this wine a show stopper in a few years time.
Perhaps that is why Rockaway isn’t priced $50 more a bottle. Patience rewards those that will to let a liquid asset appreciate in value, which this beauty will certainly do.
Drink it with a fine meal in 2011 and be thankful for signing up for the list way back in ‘08 when it was announced via some bloggers.
In a nod to Chateau Petrogasm, who, upon reflection, should have been a part of the Rockaway program, I offer up a visual identifier. And, Joe from 1WineDude, who was a part of the program, gives his visual descriptor at Chateau Petrograsm, found here.