EMH Vineyards Black Cat Cabernet, Napa Valley

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EMH Vineyards 2010 Black Cat Cabernet

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
 100 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Kenn Vigoda
Brix: 
 25.8
Alcohol: 
 14.4%
Cooperage: 
 100% French Oak
 (20% New Nadalie and Marchive)
Bottling date: 
 June 2012
Release date: 
 October 2012

Notes: “A bouquet of rich cherry and raspberry, with waves of blueberry, chocolate and rose petal - all within a framework of sweet oak. Medium body, soft tannins – balanced. A rich, long, luscious aftertaste – leaning toward the hedonistic.
The flavor profile is signature and classic, conforming to EMH's philosophy of serving terroir; maximal flavor is teased from the fruit, as opposed to being forced into a template or preconceived character.

The 2010 has voluptuous fruit, similar at this stage to vintages 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009, with the added roundness of vintages 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2009. This wine is perhaps slightly more robust at this stage than all but the 2002, 2003 and 2005.

While the 2010 is eminently balanced and ready for enjoyment now, its structure begs patience for a keener, expanded complexity. For the sophisticated collector, temperance will be highly rewarded with greater development of character and finesse.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

 


EMH Vineyards 2010 Black Cat Cabernet SS

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
 25 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Kenn Vigoda
Brix: 
 25.8
Alcohol: 
 14.4%
Cooperage: 
 100% French Oak-Special Blend from
 New and Used Nadalie and Marchive)
Bottling date: 
 June 2012
Release date: 
 October 2012

This special limited-production wine is EMH’s second wine to be designated “Special Selection.” For this bottling of our Black Cat Cabernet, we have created a unique blend, utilizing only a small portion of the five-barrel harvest from the 2010 vintage. Its flavor is unique and different from our regular Black Cat bottlings, yet still so recognizable as the Black Cat you have come to expect with each vintage.

Notes: “Dark red color with a dark purple edge. A delightful bouquet of raspberry, blackberry, chocolate, coffee and light cola. Medium body, superb fruit, good acid-tannin balance. A superb finish - rich and long - and an incredible silky, soft aftertaste. This wine expresses the dynamic and robust flavor profile of the vineyard, while attaining a well-rounded finish. It can be enjoyed at present and should show added weight and complexity as it develops during the next several years.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

 

 


EMH Vineyards 2009 Black Cat Cabernet

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
 140 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Kenn Vigoda
Brix: 
 24
Alcohol: 
 14.2%
Cooperage: 
 100% French Oak
 (30% New Nadalie and Marchive)
Bottling date: 
 June 2011
Release date: 
 October 2011

Notes: “Dark red hue with a vibrant purple edge. A bouquet of rich raspberry, blackberry, light Asian spice tea, and toast. Medium body and superb fruit, showing nice fruit and acid melding. A superb finish: rich, long and succulent aftertaste—amazing mouth feel. In general, the flavor profile is highly consistent with notes taken several months ago, with the added integration and seamless evolution in the finish. While drinking well at present, the 2009 will continue to improve for the next 2-5 years, and will provide plenty of pleasure for many years to come.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

 


EMH Vineyards 2005 Black Cat Cabernet SS

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
35 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Kenn Vigoda
Brix: 
 24
Alcohol: 
 14.2%
Cooperage: 
 100% French Oak-Special Blend from
New and Used Nadalie and Marchive)
Bottling date: 
 June 2011
Release date: 
 October 2011

This special limited-production wine is EMH’s first wine to be designated “Special Selection.” In honor of the tenth bottling of our Black Cat Cabernet, we have created a unique blend, utilizing only a small portion of the seven-barrel harvest from the 2009 vintage. Its flavor is unique yet still so recognizable as the Black Cat you have come to expect with each vintage.

Notes: “Clearly deserving ‘reserve’ status, this Special Selection exhibits a fruit profile and density that sets a new standard for the Black Cat Cabernet. Aromas of rich raspberry, black cherry, and spice are echoed on the palate by superb fruit, good acid-tannin balance, and a wonderful finish with a rich, long, luscious aftertaste. It can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best Cabernet Sauvignon produced in Napa Valley.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

 


EMH Vineyards 2008 Black Cat Cabernet

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
 100 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Art Finkelstein
Brix: 
 25.7
Alcohol: 
 14.6%
Cooperage: 
 100% French Oak
 (50% New Marchive and Nadalie)
Bottling date: 
 June 2010
Release date: 
 October 2010

Notes: “Dark red with a purple edge – brilliant hue. A splendid bouquet of berry aroma ranging from raspberry to blackberry, with chocolate overtones, light spiced tea, and sweet oak. Medium body, with superb fruit and good acid-tannin balance. Superb finish: rich, long, luscious aftertaste, showing youthful tannins and much promise. While enjoyable at present, this should be an outstanding wine within two years, reaching its maximum pleasure in four to six years.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

 


EMH Vineyards 2007 Black Cat Cabernet

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
 140 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Art Finkelstein
Brix: 
 25.7
Alcohol: 
 14.5%
Cooperage: 
 100% French Oak
 (20% New; Balance
 Once-used Nadalie/Marchive)
Bottling date: 
 May 2009
Release date: 
 October 2009

Notes: “Medium dark red, purple edge. Rich bouquet of raspberry, cherry, chocolate, vanilla and sweet oak. Medium-light body, superb fruit, good-acid tannin balance; superb finish: rich, long, luscious aftertaste.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

October 8, 2010 update: This has become a favorite of many this past year, with many, many outstanding and consistent showings. To quote a couple of admirers: “It is as pure as a Cab gets.” “Worth trying now and every year for years to come.” A two hour decant is recommended. 2007 was, for EMH Vineyards, an easy vintage to farm, and the most pleasurable vintage to show since the 2001.

October 3, 2009: The 2007 is remarkably forward while showing a robust nature.  The fruit profile is the consistent “Black Cat” Cabernet template, with firm tannins and an incredible finish. While it can be enjoyed at present, it has major promise for gaining further complexity in four to twelve years. The 2007 appears to be headed toward becoming the best wine produced from EMH’s vineyard.

 


EMH Vineyards 2006 Black Cat Cabernet

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
 125 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Art Finkelstein
Brix: 
 25.5
Alcohol: 
 14.5%
Cooperage: 
 100% French Oak
 (40% new Nadalie & Marchive)
Bottling date: 
 June 2008
Release date: 
 February 2009

Notes: “Dark red, purple edge—brilliant. Bouquet of raspberry, cherry, mocha, spice, nutmeg, light earth and sweet oak. Medium-light body, superb fruit, good acid-tannin balance; superb finish: rich, long, luscious aftertaste. This is a remarkably forward wine, with stunning fresh, ripe fruit flavors combined with an exotic, silky finish.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

October 8, 2010 update: The 2006 gets the award this year for most improved from tastings this time last year. It has come way forward, and is notable for its fine finish. Recommend a two hour decant. Some buyers who are in the know feel that this vintage of “Black Cat” may be one of the most cellar-worthy.

October 3, 2009: Robust in style, this wine exhibits a rich, long, lush aftertaste with some bitterness remaining. The 2006 shows a consistent flavor profile of earlier vintages of the “Black Cat” Cabernet, and has developed nicely in the last year, however it still requires additional bottle age. Five to twelve years to peak.

January 11, 2009: The 2006 “Black Cat” Cabernet extends the stylistic consistency of flavors, structure and superior wine from this vineyard and vintner for the seventh successive vintage. The 2006 “Black Cat” is drinking well at present, very much ahead of vintages 2002, 2003, and 2005 at the time of their respective release dates. It should improve steadily for the next several years – two to five years to peak for maximal enjoyment.

 


EMH Vineyards 2005 Black Cat Cabernet

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
 160 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Art Finkelstein
Brix: 
 24.6
Alcohol: 
 14.5%
Cooperage: 
 100% French Oak
 (50% new Nadalie & Marchive)
Bottling date: 
 May 30, 2007
Release date: 
 March 2008

Notes: “Dark, near opaque red, with a brilliant purple edge– bouquet of rich raspberry, blueberry, chocolate, spice, nutmeg and sweet oak. On the palate a medium-light body, sumptuous fruit flavors, with a near perfect acid-tannin balance, pointing to the wine’s sustainable structure. Finally, an awesome finish, witnessed in a rich, long, luscious aftertaste. The 2005 “Black Cat” Cabernet extends the stylistic consistency of flavors, structure and superior wine from this vineyard and vintner for the sixth successive vintage.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

October 8, 2010 update: This teenager has been acting like, well, a teenager. Somewhat brooding, and in the words of one taster, “old worldly.” Takes the longest to come around of all the vintages (mirroring the 2002 at this age), and does best with a four hour decant. Take care in decanting as it is throwing some sediment.

October 3, 2009: Robust in style, this wine is beginning to hit its stride, with much upside to follow. Similar to the 2003, grilled red meats and lively pastas make perfect pairing. Additional charm and complexity will develop during the next few years. Five to ten years to peak.

January 2009: The 2005 is drinking well at present, and has steadily developed since its release in January 2008. This is one for the cellar, and patience will be rewarded for those who can wait. Ultimately, this wine may prove to be the best wine produced to date. Estimated to peak between 2012 and 2015.

January 23, 2008: “The 2005 “Black Cat” is drinking well at present, and while it will be hard to resist immediate consumption, it should improve steadily for the next several years, peaking between 2012 and 2015.

 


EMH Vineyards 2004 Black Cat Cabernet

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
 100 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Art Finkelstein
Brix: 
 25.8
Alcohol: 
 14.5%
Cooperage: 
 100% French Oak (50% new)
Bottling date: 
 July 2006
Release date: 
 February 2007

Notes: “Dark, highly saturated red with a deep purple edge. Bouquet of rich black cherry, chocolate, rose petal, tea, hints of spice and nutmeg, and sweet oak. Medium-light body, superb fruit, good acid-tannin-fruit balance. Superb finish: rich, long lingering, luscious aftertaste, with generous soft tannins to support continued development.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

October 8, 2010 update: This became the darling of the Library wines this year, coming forward to strut its stuff. Notable for its balance, long finish, and fine tannins. To quote one taster: an “ethereal” mouthfeel. A short decant is recommended – perhaps up to two hours if you have the time.

October 3, 2009: Silky. This wine has the greatest latitude for food pairing, and with the exception of the 2001, has the most delicate finish.

December 3, 2006: The richly floral, compelling bouquet and fruit flavors are consistent with earlier vintages – 2000 through 2003 – while the finish is exhibiting the typical delightful mouthfeel earlier than the last two vintages. Eminently ready to be enjoyed upon release – three to seven years to peak.

 


EMH Vineyards 2003 Black Cat Cabernet

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
 100 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Art Finkelstein
Brix: 
 25.8
Alcohol: 
 14.5%
Cooperage: 
 100% French Oak (50% new)
Bottling date: 
 June 2005
Release date: 
 March 2006

Notes: “Dark red with a purple edge and brilliant hue. Rich raspberry, cherry, chocolate, light truffle, rose petal and sweet oak bouquet; medium-light body, superb fruit, good acid-tannin balance; dry and lingering, superb mouth feel and finish with a rich, lengthy, luscious aftertaste. Forward, finesse style. Highly drinkable upon release – five to six years to peak.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

October 8, 2010 update: There have not been many showings of this wine in the past year, but it has retained its bright acidity and overall appeal. Most times it was tasted alongside the 2001, and the 2001 stole the show. Decant and allow to evolve in the glass.

October 3, 2009: This wine begs for robust foods–wild boar, venison, or other grilled meats paired with rich, red wine sauces. Also pairs well with fresh bread and soft cheeses.  This wine, while lovely at present, has its best years ahead – five to ten years to peak.

January 2009: The 2003 is currently the most stunning of the Library wines, showing a very alluring bouquet, followed by a delicious palate with robust fruit flavor. While this wine boasts of much future development, it is stunning at this time. The nose on this wine is classic “Black Cat.” Drinking well, but expected to improve the next three to five years.

 


EMH Vineyards 2002 Black Cat Cabernet

Varietal: 
 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit source: 
 EMH Vineyards, Calistoga, CA
Production: 
 25 Cases
Winemaker: 
 Art Finkelstein
Brix: 
 24.6
Alcohol: 
 13.8%
Cooperage: 
 100% New French Oak
Bottling date: 
 June 2004
Release date: 
 April 2005

Notes: “Dark red with a purple edge—rich berry, earth, chocolate, truffle, coffee and toast bouquet; medium body, superb fruit, good acid-tannin balance; dry and lingering, superb finish with a rich, long, luscious aftertaste. Five to ten years to peak.”

—Jim Gallagher, Jim Gallagher’s
Wine Seminars of San Francisco

October 8, 2010 update: Again, due to such short inventories on the Library wines, there have been few showings of the 2002. A two-plus hour decant is recommended, and will allow the dark fruit flavors to fully emerge.

October 3, 2009: Wow! Robust style. While the wine is lovely at present, it has yet to reach its peak. Four to eight years will add both charm and complexity.

January 2009: The 2002 has developed a lovely complexity, melding its rich raspberry, earth, and truffle nuances into full harmony. Notable is the luscious, silky finish. This wine is nearing the promise it hinted at upon release. Drinking well now, but should continue to improve for another two to three years.

 


EMH Vineyards 2005 Black Cat Cabernet

October 8, 2010 update: This wine has resolved its tannins fully, and is an elegant example of a “Black Cat” that is aging beautifully. A delicate wine that saw no new oak, it should be carefully decanted and consumed with dinner. One client double decanted and then traveled with this wine, and it did not show its potential.

October 3, 2009: Finesse style—elegant.  I love to drink this wine. It is ready for hedonistic delight, while I expect it to drink well for at least four more years.

January 2008: With the limited quantity of the 2001 available, the opportunity does not often present itself to open one of these rare bottles. However, I was able to enjoy this on at least two occasions during 2007, and it continues to be a favorite. Elegant and classic in the EMH style, it has begun to take on the characteristics of an older Cabernet. It shows no sign of imminent decline, particularly for lovers of aged Cabernet. Drink or hold.

 



EMH Vineyards 2005 Black Cat Cabernet

October 8, 2010 update: Has not been tasted this year by anyone who has reported back.

October 3, 2009: We were able to enjoy a bottle of “Black Cat” 2000 in February of 2009. It was enjoyed as part of a celebratory dinner, and unfortunately, no formal notes were taken. However, we can assure you it was stunning, in no danger of decline, and exhibiting all the characteristics of EMH “Black Cat” Cabernet. This bottle was definitely worthy of the occasion. If you own one, open and enjoy!

January 3, 2009: I cannot comment on the current status of the 2000 “Black Cat,” as there are very few bottles remaining anywhere, and I have not personally tasted this wine for at least three years. If anyone has, please share your experience!

 


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