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Melka 2008 CJ Cabernet Sauvignon -- Wine Review

Napa Valley, California

Our Selection for Wine of the Week November 8, 2010

A bottle of Melka 2008 CJ Cabernet Sauvignon, our Wine of the Week review

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 CJ Cabernet Sauvignon


Melka, founded in 1996, is the eponymous winery of winemaking consultants Philippe and Cherie Melka. They met while working at Ridge Vineyards and have since gone on to work with some of Napa Valley's most sought-after labels including Vineyard 29, Della Valle and Lail. At Melka, they concentrate on producing Bordeaux varietals in extremely small quantities. Currently, the pair produces wines under the Métisse label, which represents single-vineyard wines, as well as CJ, which comes from a variety of vineyard sources. The 2008 CJ Cabernet is ripe with blueberry, black currant and black cherry jamminess. On the nose there is a hint of anise and black pepper, which appears again on the back of the palate. Its fine-grain tannins add texture while oak-influence adds a caramel flavor to the wine's medium length finish. Although we are impressed with the wine's structure, we find that it comes — as do so many boutique Napa wines — with a somewhat hefty price tag. Serve it with hearty, masculine foods like wild venison in a blueberry sauce, thick, grilled steaks or even an Irish stew. Or, try accentuating the wine's spice notes with bread dipped in dukkah, halibut poached in a star anise broth or aged cheeses with a spice loaf.

Rating: 14/20

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