I’m sorry, but someone had to say it.
Men should not wear cowboy hats. Well, most men shouldn’t wear cowboy hats.
They’re not cool. Cowboy hats look cool on approximately 0.002% of the U.S. population, and most of those are women, so sorry guys – chances are you are not in that population subset.
As evidence, I submit two photos from the Rocca Family Vineyards website. As is evident in the following examples, Patrick Swayze-style hair appears infinitely cooler than covering that same hair underneath a cowboy hat:
There is wine involved in this, of course – happily, Rocca Cabernet, from Napa’s Yountville area, is a darn sight tastier than Rocca’s cowboy hat-sportin’ fashion sense…
Rocca’s 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is, in a way, a Tale of Two Vineyards.
The first is Grigsby Vineyard, on predominantly clay-loam soils in Yountville, which Rocca claim gives the blend (91% Cab, with the remainder being Merlot with a splash of Cab Franc and Petit verdot) most of its fruit-forward flavor profile. The second is Collinetta Vineyard, in east Napa and therefore cooler than Yountville, providing the wine’s color depth and structure.
The interesting thing about Napa – and the part that you need to keep in mind when tasting small-production (806 cases), expensive ($75) wines like these – is that relatively small differences in vineyard location can amount to big differences in the fruit (and therefore the finished wine), because the soil types and temperature profiles can change dramatically within short distances.
This can be a bane or a boon to those winemakers trying to create a consistent flavor profile across vineyard lots from different areas – in Rocca’s case, it’s a boon.
The fruit on Rocca’s `06 Cab is lush without being overbearing, and it’s almost entirely red fruits, like stewed red plums. Sniffing this sucker is like smelling a red fruit pie coming out of the oven, because there’s cinnamon and vanilla and a slight toast – like a pie crust. But this is not your mom’s fruit pie recipe, this is like fruit pie that Thomas Keller just spent six days working on to perfect the recipe and now he’s having his ‘ah-ha!’ moment pulling this one out of the oven. “It’s perfect!” he’s screaming, only to no one in particular because it’s late at night in his kitchen after he has spent all week locked in there working on this concoction, his hair a mess, white apron covered in flour and red fruit stains, eyes wild; he looks like a culinary psychopathic murderer.
Or something like that, anyway.
In terms of palate-action, the `06 Rocca is really well-balanced and drinking so well now that I doubt many people would exercise the patience to wait the five years or so that would help to soften up the tannin structure just a tad to really round out this wine. In fact, you may need to finish the entire bottle just to get the image of a murderous Thomas Keller out of your brain (sorry).
You can purchase Rocca’s Cab on-line.