Blended California reds from Cain Vineyard - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 05-29-2009

I attended a session with Chris Howell, winemaker, at the Nantucket Wine Festival earlier this month. I was somewhat familiar with Cain Five (a blended California red with Bordeaux varietals) but not with Cain Concept. The Cain Five grapes are mountain fruit from the Spring Mountain district and the Cain Concept grapes are benchland fruit. They also make a Cain Cuvee with blending of two vintages.
At this tasting we had flights of the 2000 Cain Five and Cain Concept, the 2003 vintages of both, and the 2005 vintages of both. Most of the vines were planted 1989 or lster.

In all three vintages I prefered the Cain Five although some at the tasting prefered the Cain Concept which came across as a bit more fruit forward and softer. I thought the 2000 Cain Five exhibited some fuzzy tannins (starting to soften) while the Cain Concept had soft tannins. The fruit was perhaps more apparent on the 2003 Cain Concept but I thought it seemed more concentrated on the 2003 Cain Five (not sure Mr. Howell agreed with that comment.) My favorite was the 2003 Cain Five.

Chris Howell said all the wines are made for harmony and balance--not the highest hang time or highest alcohol. Cain Cuvee is a total antidote to big oaky, overripe, high-alcohol wines. It is almost half Merlot and receives Burgundian like gentle handling. We didn't try the Cain Cuvee at this tasting.

- winoweenie - 05-29-2009

I've posted many times on this, IMHO, fine bottling and even in my fuzzy memory banks think you've done some of the back vintages. Always one of the top 10 Meritages in every vintage this is Mitchs' benchmark offering. WW

- wondersofwine - 06-01-2009

Yes, WW, I had tasted Cain Five at a California Barrel Tasting in DC put on by Macarthur Beverages and purchased two bottles but Chris Howell said they no longer participate in the Macarthur barrel tasting.

- TheEngineer - 06-01-2009

My local pusher had held a few for me, the 1996 Cain Five and the 2000 Cain Concept Library. They were not exactly cheap so it feels good that at least both WW and WOW liked them. WW, should I open the 96's sooner rather than later?


- winoweenie - 06-01-2009

Tuesday looks perfect. WW [img][/img]

- TheEngineer - 06-02-2009

Thx WW [img][/img]