Irish Monkey Cellars
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon - "MEF"
$22 / 750 ml.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon - El Dorado
$35 / 750 ml.

Cabernet Sauvignon in our winemaker's opinion is rightly considered one of, if not the noble varietal of California. It is a profoundly vexing grape during the winemaking itself: often not developing much flavor at fermentation, only to blossom a year later in the barrel. It likes moderate temperatures, and responds by delivering a clean, modestly flinty nose, with plenty of serious kid-leather, spice and chocolately undertones. Unlike many other varieties, made entirely by itself, it can be remarkably delicious. Yet it also marries beautifully with Merlot, Cabneret Franc, Petit Verdot, Mouvedre and to a lesser degree Malbec, Syrah and Tempranillo.

The Irish Monkey "MEF" stands for "Mendocino, El-Dorado and Franc". Now that is quite a mismatch, but it describes this particular style perfectly: the cool-to-cold growing conditions of Mendocino give a Cabernet that has a lot of fruit and moderate floweryness, but little body. The El Dorado is just the opposite. The Cabernet Franc then adds its spicy, fruit-forward notes to make for a great meritage. Yet, this is decidedly not a Meritage in the usual sense. It is a Cab, carefully composed to accentuate "the Cab". See for yourself!

The Irish Monkey Cabernet El Dorado is the opposite of the MEF: it is a single unblended flavor, clean, complex, peppered, layered with late-Autumn harvest fruits and berries. Very reminescent of the Cabs of the late 1960's and early 1970's, it breathes deeply when carefully transferred to a decanter in the course of an hour. Ideal with beef, braised chicken, or even a hearty boeuf borgoinne.

Cabernet Sauvignon compliments your heartier fare as a general rule. It is an arm-in-arm partner with hard cheeses and hand-crafted salametti, or with a sturdy pasta with a great tomato sugo sauce. Our Cabernet Sauvignon has been surprisingly well received with Beef dishes and with Lasagne. It is styled away from the modern "Nilla Vanilla" flavor, and more toward the classic "tastes like Cab with nice Oak" balance.

Serving
Temperature Cool Cabernet benefits from being on the cooler side of "room temperature", or about 60 degrees. Its flinty notes come forth as a inflorence of detail and flinty complexity.
Glass Wide & Mid-tall The noble varieties all benefit from large-bowl presentation. We recommend the now-ubiquitious thin-walled glass popularized by the Reidel company. They make excellent glassware and have many emulators.
Transition to

Cabernet Franc
Pinot Noir
Petit Sirah
Syrah
Barolo
Tempranillo
SyrBec

Cabernet Sauvignon's distinct flavor and strength requires that the wine that follows simply either be of greater power and complimentary flavor, or in another direction entirely. It would be fine, for instance, to transition after the Main Course's Cab to a dessert of figs, cheese and port. The compliment list to the left was chosen to accomplish the same end: to act as a bridge or a 'punctuation mark' ending the red wines altogether.