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January 5, 2006

Panza and Quixote Reviews - Fredric Koeppel

Quixote Winery
Panza Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
100 % cabernet sauvignon
Stags' Leap Ranch, Napa Valley, California
About $40
Very good+

Carl Doumani, one of Napa Valley's great characters, sold his Stags' Leap Winery to Beringer Blass in 1997. (This is now Beringer Wines Estates, owned by the mega-huge Foster's Group.) From the seed of the 30 acres of vines he retained, Doumani and his family launched Quixote, a fitting name for a producer who has always been an individual, not to say quixotic. Quixote makes only petite sirah (labeled petite syrah) and cabernet sauvignon wines at two levels, Panza and Quixote; all the wines are bottled with screw-caps for easy opening. These wines from 2001 are current releases.

Panza is a fitting companion for Don Quixote. The whole vocabulary of dimension suits this wine: Depth, breadth, width, length. Cassis, leather and violets, bittersweet chocolate surge from the glass in an intense and concentrated package of daunting size that leads to a deep, firm, austere finish. From mid-palate back it registers as reluctant, if not truculent; perhaps it will gain more personality with some age, say from 2007 to 2010.


Quixote Winery
Quixote Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
100% cabernet sauvignon
Stags' Leap Ranch, Napa Valley, California
About $60
Excellent

Here's a monument to the old-fashioned Napa Valley cabernet. Quixote's 2001, from a terrific year for cabernet in California, smells, tastes and feels fathomless; each element, whether oak, fruit, acid, tannin, completely permeates the others so you perceive them simultaneously. Size, structure, foundation, all the architectural factors, dominate at first, slowly unveiling, like a nightlight in a dark room, a very intense core of crushed violets and lavender, licorice and minerals that yields in turn to ripe and fleshy cassis, black raspberry and cherry flavors. Give this from 2007 to 2012. A Great Achievement.

Posted by Pamela at January 5, 2006 10:09 PM| Share on Facebook | Biodynamic Farming, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Wines, Organic, Quixote, Stags Leap Wine

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