Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Cain 2001 Cain Five, Napa Valley

There are three things I will not forget about this wine from Napa Valley.

A Trio Of Remembrances

There’s much talk in the wine world of terroir – the soil, the climate and the unique sense of place that forge the essence of a particular wine. Even after the wine is bottled, there is a terroir of the mind that imprints a mental photograph based on your memories, sensations and images. In the case of this particular bottle of 2001 Cain Five, I have three things I will remember about this wine.


This bottle came from the Woodville Anderson’s store. Cabernetor and I had heard about the closeout sale in their wine department and raced over to the store hoping for amazing values.

When we arrived, the store was in a depressing state of deconstruction where even the shelves were being sold to the public. In the wine department, there was an abundance of “beverage” wines but most everything else had been picked over – except, that is, a small selection of their top bottles.

I grabbed a bottle of Bordeaux from Medoc for $70, which is a 50% savings. The Cabernetor, a Napa fan if there ever is one, carefully selected this bottle of Cain Five. That was four years ago.


The second image I will recall is that we drank the bottle at a dinner hosted by Cabernetor and Glorious T. I had suggested that Cabernetor and I should knock some rust off our ping pong game. Normally we play ping pong after Cabernetor has had an ample supply of premium red wine. This evening, however, close to New Year’s Eve, we decided to start with sparkling wine.

The order of wine service was perfectly by the book – but it didn’t help my table tennis any! After pushing the Cabernetor to the limit in the first game before falling, the worst happened. He was energized by the Champagne – instead of his senses being dulled by the red wine -- and proceeded to unleash a series of backhand smashes and impossible angles.


My third memory wrapped up in this wine is the food. In particular, crab melts. Glorious T had prepared this dish which features a crab meat and cheese mixture atop an English muffin. Light and tasty, this was perfect with our Champagne and with our Gruner Veltliner as well. We had a chocolate lava cake with the Cain Five and it was a gooey delicious mess (the dessert, that is).

The 2001 Cain Five is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot and 5% Malbec. The five classic Bordeaux grapes have aged well and this particular bottle could have cellared for another two years. The cork presented some challenges, but the wine inside did not.

Cain Five delivered notes of orange peel and oak. Spice and savory flavors also tickled the tongue. This is the signature blend of Cain and the SRP was $90 – but Cabernetor scored a deal. If your New Year’s resolution is to drink more premium red wines, we suggest you check out Cain and make a memory of your own.

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