“One Word Tasting Note Rock, Paper, Scissors” + “7-vintage Estate Cabernet Vertical” = “Monday Funday!”

Oh Susanna!
Don’t you cry for me,
cuz I’m goin to Monte Bello
with Estate Cab on my knee …

And by Susanna, of course, I mean Susanna Hoffs; she, of The Bangles, who formerly noted that, as opposed to Monday, Sunday was in fact her Funday.


Not so I.

Monday is my Funday.

At least this most recent one was.

This Monday most recent, we had cause to open, pour, and taste a SEVEN-VINTAGE-VERTICAL of Ridge Vineyards Estate Cabernet: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and the not-yet-released 2010.


To be honest, this may have been one of the best tastings I’ve ever been involved with; these wines just tasted extraordinary!

So, “standard” tasting notes were simply not going to cut it. This was too special, too powerful, too spiritual.

Thus, “One Word Tasting Note Rock, Paper, Scissors!”

How does it work?

You partner up with another taster, and you taste a wine together. And together, you become as the Haiku artist becomes:

“He is like a tuning fork placed before a vibrating one of the same frequency. When he contemplates the impassionate, living object he immediately realizes its quality just as the sound from the tuning forks will become audible. He is in a state of aesthetic resonation, a harmonized whole of all the meaningful experiences he has had, brought to bear upon the moment of aesthetic contemplation.” — Kenneth Yasuda, “Japanese Haiku: Its Essential Nature and History”

And then you count to three, a la Rock, Paper, Scissors.

And then you give voice to your one-word tasting note; your audibilized vibration, your harmonized whole.

And then, with time, you may seek common threads in the spontaneous vibrations of your respective tuning forks.

I was with my colleague Sam Howles-Banerji.


We began with the 2004 Estate Cabernet.

1, 2, 3:


Commonalities? Obvious! Just two other ways of sayin’ Funky!


2 /ˈfʌŋki/ Show Spelled [fuhng-kee] Show IPA

adjective, funk·i·er, funk·i·est.


Jazz. having an earthy, blues-based quality or character.

funky 1 (ˈfʌŋkɪ)

— adj , funkier , funkiest


(of music) passionate, soulful; of or pertaining to funk


authentic; earthy


stylish and exciting; cool: funky jeans


Next up, the 2005 Estate Cabernet.

1, 2, 3:


Common Themes: Incessant, Devotional, Hypnotic


2006 Estate Cabernet

1, 2, 3:

Horse & Buggy
Velvet Mineral

The thread? Contrast; the rusticity of horse-drawn old-fashionedness amidst a fresh, new spring day – velvet & mineral


2007 Estate Cabernet

1, 2, 3:


Common Theme: The wild open spaces! Freedom! Limitless possibilitiy amidst boundless beauty! An internal code of honor, a rhythm and law all its own.


2008 Estate Cabernet

1, 2, 3:

Punk Rock

Commonalities? Condensed, concentrated, intense; distillation of raw passion; decadence and excitement


2009 Estate Cabernet

1, 2, 3:


Thematic unity? Expressive and generous sensuality


2010 Estate Cabernet

1, 2, 3:

Pistachio Ice Cream on the beach

Ok, that first one is hardly one word, but the commonalities here are really quite fascinating … That two wine tasters, upon tasting a specific wine at the indentical time, should then each, interdependently of the other, audibilize the idyll … aesthetic resonation indeed.

And that, my friends, is One Word Tasting Note Rock, Paper, Scissors.

And that, my friends, is our 7-vintage Estate Cabernet Vertical.

And that, my friends, is a Funday.

Categories: Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains Estate, Tasting Flights, Tasting Notes, Varietals & Blends, Virtual Verticals, Wine & Art, Wine & Literature, Wine & Philosophy, Wine & Poetry, Wine & Spirituality, Wine and Jazz

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