Friday, February 4, 2011

Back to JAQK With 22 Black Cabernet Sauvignon

In my previous blog post, I talked about JAQK Cellars, a relative newcomer to the California wine scene. With winemaker Craig MacLean producing some delicious wines, and a talented winery team, I think these guys and gals will be doing some great things in the near future. So tonight we have another tasty wine from JAQK Cellars, their 22 Black Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.

2006 JAQK Cellars 22 Black Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Great color, reminds me of a dark ruby and seems to whisper "watch how classy I will be". Smoke, aromas like a fresh baked berry pie and even a touch of earth weave impressive complexity for the olfactory sense. Up to this point, I am enjoying myself thoroughly while only using sight and smell. Occurrences such as this are rare and to be enjoyed, savored even. I'm reminded how a wine can subtly seduce us by enticing various senses, teasing them even. The first sip brings mouth-filling tannin, black currant, blueberry and oak that finishes a bit abruptly. So far that is my only gripe, I wish for a more elegant finish, one that matches the approach we get from 22 Black. My second sip discovers some hints of tobacco and leather, even a touch of black cherry but again with the too-short finish.

Since the JAQK 22 Black (I love typing that!) is 84% cabernet sauvignon, 14% merlot and 2% syrah, trying to pin down a specific flavor profile isn't something I'm trying to do while tasting this wine. While there are elements here of traditional Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon, the addition of merlot brings some riper fruit and the syrah perhaps adds depth through the mid-palate in the form of a tobacco and spice flavor.

Wine is personal to each of us though, and while I respect those who enjoy a quick exit by a wine, I wish for more. Still, the 2006 JAQK 22 Black is a delicious wine, one that I would love to buy and serve to my friends. For pairing, I think braised short ribs or a bone-in New York strip (medium rare please) would match up almost perfectly. This is a wonderful example of wine made by someone who knows what they are doing. B+ and a BUY recommendation. For $27, this costs exactly what it tastes like. If you, gentle reader, happen to see 22 Black for less than the suggested retail price, buy a bottle and let me know what you think.

Beau Carufel

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