Our daughter isn’t here yet. What happened to science? What happened to modern medicine? What happened, even, to my hopeless romanticism? Yesterday, April 16, was not only my birthday as well as Easter, but it was also two full days after our daughter was due. I fully expected, in my arrogance, that she would arrive on my birthday, you know, sort of like a great cosmic present to me from the universe. I deserve that much, don’t I? And yet here we are, Monday evening, the day after my birthday and three days and counting after our baby girl was supposed to get here, and all of my romantic notions about sharing cakes and parties have been dispelled. Even if my daughter didn’t arrive today, however, a shipment of wine did. I consoled myself by pulling the cork on this extraordinary bottle of wine as I cooked dinner for my family and listened to U2 instead of wondering why my daughter was taking so long to incubate.
Textbook in its flawless regal purple-to-red appearance, the fragrant nose of oak-laden black and purple fruits is nothing short of immaculate. While the nose of a Cabernet is often exceedingly subtle at first, especially in younger vintages in my experience, this one burst forth in a brilliance that left me wanting to smell as much as I wanted to taste. In fact, it was one of those rare wines that I often raised to my nose, smelled, and set back down without ever tasting over the course of the evening. Seriously, the nose is that spectacular. Try it for yourself.
The body of the wine reminded me of time spent on the Silverado Trail, for which the vineyards and winery were named in 1981, the year of my birth, thirty-six years and a day ago now. A familiar depth and richness that my mind associates with only the best of memories was as enticing as it was nostalgic; gentle French oak, refined leather, black fruits such as blackberry, currant, and black cherry, subtle baking spices, and a certain herbaceous quality commingle beautifully upon a bed of fine tannins. The wine is balanced, structured, and delightful from start to finish. I have no doubt that it is age-worthy, and yet it is drinking so wonderfully now that I’m not sure I have the self-restraint to find out.
By the end of dinner, Sonja was ready to take yet another walk in the hopes of coaxing forth our baby girl. I topped up my glass and we headed out for a stroll through the neighborhood. For much of our walk, I simply basked in the waning sunlight of the evening hours, and smelled repeatedly and longingly at the gorgeous nose. Eventually by the end of our walk, however, the glass was mostly empty.
It wasn’t until my fifth or sixth visit to the Napa Valley that Sonja and I stopped at Silverado Vineyards, but its a visit we haven’t stopped talking about since that time. Tonight, we got to share it over dinner with my parents, in town expecting to meet their first granddaughter. They enjoyed this wine along with us, and listened to our stories about the terrific winery we’re now thoroughly in love with. It took a long time for us to visit Silverado Vineyards, but in the end there could be no doubt that it had been worth the wait, and that we would indeed be back again. We expect that it will be this way with our daughter as well. She’s taking far longer than we (or any medical professional) had expected, but we know that when she does arrive, she’ll have been worth every grueling second of anticipation, and a special part of our lives forever. (I only hope that she’ll enjoy wine as much as I do.)