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Hogue Merlot

After the play last night, we opened a cabernet from Hogue Cellars that’s been in the cellar for the last 5 years.  1998 was a good year for many parts of eastern Washington, and I had been sitting on this one since March 2001.  The bottle I bought was never one of Hogue’s top of the line bottles — it was just Hogue’s ordinary $10 workhorse cabernet. 

Unfortunately, this is a lesson in the ageability of wine.  This bottle is past it’s prime.  There was a nice nose of cassis, and cedar.  On the palate, though, alcohol and tannins overpowered the remaining fruit in the bottle, and it finished quite tannic. 

Sometimes you get lucky. We just finished the last bottle of the 1997 Penfolds Bin 389 that I put down at the same time, and they were marvelous.  We’ll still drink the other bottle of this Hogue I’ve got, but it’s now a "Drink with hamburgers" wine. 

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