Rutherford Perspective: noun; I. the experience of tastes relative to one another, as determined by one’s distance from a glass of luscious Cabernet, 2. a special vision resulting in hand-crafted wine from the western Rutherford bench.
I love debut vintages. Not that I purposely seek them out—it’s more an interest in experiencing a winemaker’s initial effort, and getting a baseline sense of where things started. I’ve enjoyed a string of stunning openers over the years. I don’t know what, if anything, made those wines stand out—maybe the winemaker is nervously attentive at first, helicopter parenting for the first born. Or maybe it’s the opposite, and their reserved, hands-off approach lets the fruit come alive. Maybe it’s just a coincidence.
I’ve only briefly tasted one of the most recent Perspective vintages anyway, which inspired me to search out this one, so I don’t have much of a basis for comparison. But, I’ve heard this wine has had some special years between then and now. Despite skirting frenzied breakout cult status, Perspective has remained respected in the Napa undercurrent, 100% varietal and organic—a terroir-driven wine from a diverse little ecosystem of integrated vines, insects, animals, and vegetation all playing an active role. Vineyard management, Tres Sabores style.
From my tasting notebook:
Showing incredibly little age in the glass—rich garnet color with just the slightest brick tones in the right light. Intense violets on the nose and palate, along with plum, blackberry, and cassis. Appealing weight, slightly shy of full-bodied with a graceful acidity and crushed stone mineral richness. Pepper, herb bundle, and cured meat on the finish.
I am always convinced I detect pomegranate notes in Tres Sabores wine—distinctly sweet and tart. A decidedly fresh, tropical, youthful quality. Because they grow amazing poms on their property, I may be influenced by the memory of seeing them line the driveway leading up to the tasting room, and tasting the one I carried home from our trip in my suitcase. But, I like to think I don’t completely buckle under the power of suggestion; maybe pom fragrance is in the air, carried around to the vines by wind or bees.
When the summer heat breaks, I will be receiving a 2004 Perspective to review. Until then it must wait in the WineBid.com warehouse. I wish I could say there was more Tres Sabores wine currently available on WineBid, but the pickings are usually slim. If you’re interested another organic, family-run operation don’t miss Coturri Winery.
Read about a Coturri visit here.
Read about our Tres Sabores visit here.