A Vertical Tasting: Faust Napa Cabernet, 2005, 2007, 2008

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One of my favorite things to do is to taste different wines of the same grape variety, or grape blend, side-by-side, or, to taste multiple vintages of the same wine side by side–that is, a vertical tasting.

I was lucky enough to taste three vintages of the Faust Napa Cabernet Sauvignon recently.

2005

Though 2005 is not deep age on a rich bodied wine, it shows well already on the Faust. This is a nice quality Cabernet, with tannins to allow deepening complexity as it is stored. The 2005 already shows such secondary characteristics, with hints of smoke and smoked meats, some pepper spice, and even my beloved Alaskan tundra herbs and plants that I’ve mentioned here before. I very much enjoyed this vintage.

The 2005 is certainly ready to drink now, but can also be held for drinking later.

2007

It is clear that this is a nice quality wine, but drinking it now catches it in an in-between/development stage. This vintage was lauded on its release for ripeness and range. Tasting it today, you can see that the structure is there to allow for aging and interest, but right now the flavors are showing as flat. There is plenty of fruit–a ripe year–and other notes of interest, but hold onto this for a couple years before drinking so that the elements can come back together.

2008

The youth of this vintage offers juicy fruit, and pleasant spice. Again, this is a lovely vintage with good quality. You can enjoy it now with its pert, vivacious character, or let it age into a deeper wisdom.

Incidentally, the 2008 Faust is a wine my parents thoroughly enjoyed. It has all the verve and body of a rich Caifornia Cabernet that they appreciate.

Side-by-Side

The 2005 was without doubt my favorite of the three. I love how the age shows on this vintage. The 2007 seems the ripest, but needs time. The 2008 shows the most spice, and I’m interested in how the complexity will come out with age on this vintage.

Enjoy!

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