Fratelli Perata Winery2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva
The Perata brothers have a modest and charming operation (2200 cases/year) on the west side of Paso, not too far off the beaten path of Highway 46, but just far enough to have a feel of another time and place. The winery’s label features a wonderful artist rendering of the Perata’s grandparents’ home in Stella San Martin, Liguria, in the hills of Northern Italy. The brothers have been growing very low tonnage dry-farmed grapes which they hand-craft into things of beauty. All their wines are restrained in alcohol, intense in their personalities, and like this one, a pure delight to the refined palate that appreciates wines of balance.
Unmistakably Cabernet from the first whiff, this wine is bold, with aromas of leather, dark cocoa, plum and pepperbush. The color is beautifully dark, almost black purple, the color you’d want a Rolls Royce to be. It promises something large on the palate and is it ever. A gorgeous texture envelops every part of your palate, flooding it over with elderberries and black raspberries. The tannins are resolute, well-muscled and as determined as a thoroughbred on the final stretch of the Kentucky Derby. This wine is a wake up call for the entire mouth: about mid palate, the cherries and cassis flavors kick in, and by the finish, you’ve got huckleberries and a big whack of dark licorice to keep the sensations going ad infinitum. Aged in new French oak for three years, this wine could cellar easily for another 10 years, yet, it is a delight to enjoy now. You will really want a rib eye steak or a Chateaubriand with mushrooms to complement this beautiful beast.
(Alc: 13.5%, Retail: $30)
Reviewed May 22, 2007 by Laura Ness.
A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.