The year was 1984: the first Apple Macintosh computer was on sale and Ronald Reagan was in office. “Terminator,” “The Karate Kid,” and “Ghostbusters” were in the theaters and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” ruled the radio. The “MTV Video Music Awards” came into existence, and the Soviets boycotted the Los Angeles Summer Olympics, as payback for the Western boycott of the Moscow games. While all of this was going on, a young winery nestled in the heart of Napa Valley gave birth to what would become an icon among American Bordeaux blends. Flora Springs was in its sixth year of operations when they decided to create something spectacular; a hand-selected, signature red blend from the best lots of their estate vineyards that they would call Trilogy. The inaugural 1984 blend (the same vintage as a certain wine blogger) was composed of a third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, giving rise to a big, bold wine with plenty of structure to age gracefully (just like yours truly)…
But perhaps the best test of time, at least in the wine world, is a vertical tasting pitting an “aged” wine against a younger, newer version of itself. For this meeting of the vintages, I compared the 1984 Trilogy with the 2008 Trilogy, pairing them both with the archetypal big red wine meal: a juicy steak, roasted Brussels sprouts, creamy mashed potatoes, and a bright, beautiful salad. Let me tell you, it was magic.
The 2008 Trilogy is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot, with a smattering of Petit Verdot and Malbec for good measure. Aged for 22 months in 100% new French oak, this wine has plenty of character. Perfectly balanced tannins intermingled with the right touch of oak and black fruit flavors to yield a delicious wine, with and without food accompaniment. Thirty years into its development, the 1984 Trilogy displayed the brick red hue one might expect, and offered a candied, dried fruit bouquet. These flavors carried through to the palate, offering notes of dried plum and baking spice. While some might say this wine was “past its prime” I liken it to the Audrey Hepburn of wines; an icon, displaying classic beauty throughout its time. The mature character of the 1984 vintage allowed it to do what we all strive to accomplish: leave a lasting legacy in the mind, and the palate wanting more.