Friday, February 06, 2009

Mini Vertical #9: 2002 vs. 2003 St. Clement Oroppas

My wine group's latest grand tasting featured a top flight of California Cabernet Sauvignon, but you'll have to whet your appetite with this more modest offering, another blinded "mini-vertical" from my cellar.

On my left was the 2003 St. Clement Oroppas. With spicy dark berries, black pepper and violet...a riper, jammier nose than the '02 below. Very smooth and tasty, but softer and jammier on the palate as well. Enjoyable, just less structured and less complex. Drink now.
Score: 16.5/20

On my right was the more interesting 2002 St. Clement Oroppas - peppery, with vegetal notes, damp black earth, vanilla, violets and tobacco. Soft, dense fruit, also a modern-styled effort but retaining a vibrancy - decent acidity and classy tannins holding this all together. A very long finish, this is a youthful cab that should spend a few more years in your cellar.
Score: 17.5/20

I have nothing but praise for St. Clement's wines - in a sea of overpriced underachievers, these wines are amongst Napa's best values at all price points. Save your money on those cult California Cabs - Oroppas kicks many of those, just US$55 at the winery door.

PS - a special thanks to Pramod, who put me on to St. Clement in the first place.


John said...

Amen on St. Clement. Back when I was selling wine, I must have sold 20 cases of their merlot, one bottle at a time. Year in and year out, it was one of the best Cali merlots.

I wish they had given me some Oroppas as commission.

Joe said...

Welcome back, John - I thought you had stopped writing! My first Oroppas was a gift, I liked it so much I went to visit the winery in the Fall of '06. I liked their Merlot as well - much better than most Napa merlot. Cheers!

Shea said...

Oroppas rocks. I just went to the winery last week - they were pouring magnum verticals of oroppas - check the blog :). I liked the 2002, but the 2000 was amazing!

Joe said...

Hi Shea, been so freaking busy lately, started a new job, falling behind a bit...glad to see you liked St. Clement!

Anson said...

Hi Joe, I got a bottle of Oroppas 2001 from a friend some time ago and will be uncorking it tonight. Hope it would be as good.

Joe said...

Hi Anson, let me know how that '01 goes (sure you won't be disappointed) - Cheers!