CABERNET SAUVIGNON FROM TANNER DAFOE WINERY: BOUTIQUE OPERATION SETS A HIGH STANDARD
By Michael Hepworth
Only 142 cases of the 2010 Tanner Dafoe 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon are produced and since this is a wine you can keep for up to 15 years we must assume that if you can force yourself not to drink it, it is a good investment. This full bodied and very rich wine builds on the 2009 release offering more in the high tone aromatics and just as elegant.
The Santa Ynez based winery also has an excellent 2011 Rogues Blend that is as subtle and sharp as the very sleek and all black packaging of the product indicating something out of the ordinary and special to the consumer. Based out of a small and rocky vineyard at the eastern end of the valley in the Buellton area, Tanner Dafoe are determined to produce wines as good as those coming from Bordeaux and they seem to have captured the essential spirit of the wine. Grape breakdown for the Rogue’s Blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc.
The production notes for the wine indicate a lower yield because of high winds in the early flowering season when the grapes were pulled in staggered lots. This allows for management of the acidity in the master wine, leaving some of the lots time to naturally ferment and bring more refinement to the pallet. The wine is aged for 27 months in French Oak Barrels and comes with an alcohol percentage of 14.2%. There are additional tips from the winemaker that insists you decant the wine for at least 45 minutes before drinking, although they also encourage small sips and tastes during that very difficult waiting time. In addition, they also advise that if your wine has been shipped over any kind of distance then you might also want to wait a few days before opening it up.
Based on the pictures of the proprietors Rob Dafoe and Jeff Tanner, they look like very different personalities. However it turns out that aside from their passion or obsession with Cabernet Sauvignon, they also love surf and snow. These wines are so highly prized by Cabernet fanatics that you have to sign on to their website and hopefully get on their list. Opportunities on the secondary market to buy these wines also seem few and far between, although I did see the 2009 available for $99 at an online wine retailer.
As for food pairings with these wines you might want to focus on French cheeses for starters. I hear that they go particularly well with Camembert au Lait Cru on toast. Good luck on tracking down the wine and enjoy.