I was at Terra Valentine the other night for an open-house event, drinking through the winery’s three delicious estate Cabernets. I had tasted these same wines several months ago, having also visited the winery during the summertime. Originally, it was the 2005 Yverdon Vineyard Cabernet that had lured me up Spring Mountain Road, although I think that their 2005 Wurtele Vineyard Cabernet ended up being my favorite of that day. For me, the key difference was that the Wurtele Cab exhibited a more subtle use of oak than the Yverdon Cab, but that both wines presented great values at $60 and $70, respectively. That was then.
Fast forward to the winery’s recent open house a couple weeks ago, and I’m revisiting the Wurtele and the Yverdon Cabernets, along with Terra Valentine’s 2005 Spring Mountain District Cabernet. Again, all three wines taste terrific, as I remember, and my recollections regarding the Wurtele and the Yverdon remain consistent. But the wine that I’m really enjoying the most (and drinking the most of) is actually the Spring Mountain Cabernet. I found that it was extremely approachable with mellow tannins and full fruit on the palate. It eventually dawned on me that, although I do appreciate the idea of Terra Valentine’s two single-vineyard Cabernets, this Spring Mountain blend was really stellar.
This morning, I was sifting through some of my tasting notes, and I happened to discover the price sheet that I took from Terra Valentine earlier this summer. I was surprised to learn something that I had not realized the other night, which was that the 2005 Terra Valentine Spring Mountain Cabernet — the wine that was my favorite of the three — was only $38 (I was also reminded that the wine was 95% Cabernet, 3% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc). Wow. It just underscores the idea that blind tastings always reveal the absolute truth. I rank this wine alongside the greatest values in the Napa Valley.