Last Night's Affair: Fairchild Estate

Posted by The Wine Whore |

The Wine:
Fairchild Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

The Affair:
If you know anything about me, you need to know one thing. I am a head over heels, complete sucker for a seared fatty Ribeye steak and a nice bottle of Cab...

Last night, I had absolutely no reason to celebrate. What better reason to open one of the most expensive bottles I've ever received as a sample? I know what you're thinking. How could I possibly be honest about such an expensive freebie? After all, who wouldn't want a free bottle of Cab that costs most than $100? Let me just say that honesty is what got this bottle sent my way in the first place so I'm gonna stick with it... who knows, maybe an even MORE expensive bottle will make its way to my doorstep!

So here's a test... next time your sippin' on a glass of vino, ask your wine friend to name at least three Napa wineries known for their Cabernet Sauvignon. You'll probably hear Caymus, Silver Oak, and maybe even a Mondavi or Cakebread in there somewhere. But here's something they don't tell you in Wine Spectator... Well known doesn't equal well made. In fact, I would argue that some of the best Cabs I've ever had, I never heard much about before I tasted them. One of which was the Dominus Cab I had not too long ago at my $500 dinner, and I'd like to add this Cab from Fairchild Estate to the list as well.

My initial opinion wasn't so positive. At first, I wasn't sold. I pulled the cork, poured a dribble in my glass, and put it to my nose and lips. It seemed thin and tight. I poured the rest into the decanter and started searing the steaks for dinner. Once my Ribeye steak was perfectly blackened on the outside and rare on the inside, I tried the wine again. Let me just say that this wine had evolved into something truly awesome. It was fragrant, full bodied, and built with a structure that would make the Eiffel tower look like a toddler's tinker-toy creation.

Up to this point, I've been pretty unimpressed by many of the Cabs I've tried from CA. Although I think their "Bordeaux-like" Sigaro blend will really rock my world, I will say that I was very impressed by this "big" Napa Valley Cab.

The next time you reach for a bottle of Cab just because you recognize the name, do yourself a favor. Take a chance and choose something unfamiliar. Sure it may be a total flop, but what if it turns out to be one of the best bottles you've ever had? Isn't that worth taking a chance?

Ever had a chance wine encounter that actually worked out well?

For this and other affairs, check out the summary of scores, map, or even choose my next bottle.

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drinknectar said...

Very nice. So was it $50 better than some of the good $50 Cab's you've had? At $100+ is it a true jewel or treasure?

Sounds like you enjoyed it! Glad to have you back reviewing again.

Frank said...

Always interesting how the well made Cabs evolve in the glass, eh? If you get the chance check out the Tom Eddy Cabs. Same evolution in the glass... from tightly wound to dark fruit silkiness.

On another note - good grief, look at that picture! Sun shining, short sleeve shirt and all the green foliage. Oh to live in the south - that would be nice. We're expecting another bit of snow up here this week.

PS - if those are icicle Christmas lights still hanging up around your screen porch, please take them down. ;)

The Wine Whore said...

I was having the same conversation with Todd, aka The Food Whore, earlier today. I have a bottle of Caymus Special which sells for $100 right now in my cellar. I really want to crack this one open again while the Fairchild Estate is fresh in my mind. I am pretty sure that the Fairchild is worth more than the Caymus, but I want to compare the two one more time just to make sure. In any case, this is definitely a jewel of a wine. I only wish it cost less than $50 so I could drink it every day. :)

The Wine Whore said...

LOL! Frank, I had to read your comment to Sheila since she is the one who made me put those stupid icicle lights up in the first place. Oh, and you better believe that they'll be hanging there until next Christmas or until they fall down... whichever comes first! :)

I love a wine that evolves in the glass... it's just so amazing to witness and enjoy! I think I remember you mentioning the Tom Eddy Cabs, I'll keep an eye out for 'em!

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