Bright purple. The nose is fruity, vibrant and full of blackberry and black cherry. On the palate- delicious rendition of dark berry compote meets vanilla bean and coffee reduction. The wine exhibits some dryness with slight tannins appearing midpalate. The dryness opens up on the finish and leaves the back cheeks somewhat astringent. The mid plate concentrated on black fruits and the finish carries it through with some cedar plank to boot. 89 points and 4 stars for this $20 blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Franc. Drink now with tapas, grilled Pork chops or pasta. Salut….
Number 4 in the line up, it followed a hard act. This is Drew Bledsoe’s brand (NFL QB).
Medium opacity in the glass. The nose starts off with a lot of wood. I swirl and swirl to finally get violet, damson and stone. On the palate it is quite young, bracingly tannic and somewhat shut down for business. What I do coax out of it include plums, fir tree essence, mocha. The finish is very dry and decent in length. 90 points is a decent score for this winery’s first vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. At $60 it’s a step up from everyday drinking wines, but it gets a decent 90 points from me and 4 stars. I would cellar it for a while and drink from 2020-2037. Pair it with some hearty grilled meats, Venison or even Osso Bucco. Salut….
The third wine in my Cali tasting adventure, and one that I returned to the store to re-try. It was that good.
Rich, brooding purple in the glass. Thick plum jam and spicy oak open up the nose. On the palate it is unctuous and full of blackberry reduction, vanilla, espresso and violet. Svelte tannins steer this wine to the delightful finish that is surprisingly short. 90 points. After a second try- 91 points. The nose is simply amazing. This is quintiscential Napa Cabernet, basking in the sun, ripening to perfection and then crafted into such a delectable drop. $65 makes it a pricy bottle, until you factor in the Napa appellation and quality. 4 stars and I would drink it alone. No pairing needed. Drink now till 2025. Salut….
Very dark in the glass, somewhat murky. The nose is lush with plums, eucalyptus, bramble and fir tree. On the palate it echoes the flavors with delicious purple plum paste and fresh earthy herbs. A green note pops up on the mid palate which gives a bit of pique. The tannins are well integrated and the acidity shines through at the end. Green bitterness hits right on the back end which detracted me for a sec. I love the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%) with the rest equal parts Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The greenness I’m guessing is from the Verdot. Overall a very delicious, layered wine that drinks well now through 2022. 90 points and 4 stars for this $40 effort. Salut….
Rich plums and thick oak staves fill the nose on this nearly black wine. On the palate I get delicious black berries, lush dark currants and a tar component. I’m trying hard to pinpoint the missing flavor, could it be coffee? Tannins are present but not obtrusive, with dark fruits and more wood present on the mdi to back end. 90 points and 5 stars for this uniquely labelled Cab that runs about $18. Salut….
Some more Kirkland Signature wines are on the horizon in my search for value priced offerings. This one cost $10. It shows nicely in the glass with a see-through medium hued purple. The nose is mostly plum with a hint of nutmeg. The palate is very inviting, easy to drink and fresh. Blue fruits dominate with a touch of tannic vibrancy that tickles the gums. Acidity is present and the wine has a really nice balance. The mid palate has a core of plum that carries through to the finish. There’s not much complexity here, but it does serve the purpose. This wine is great value for a Sonoma County Cabernet that drinks easily, will handle burgers, pizza and make an awesome coq au vin. I would buy it up, serving all summer long out by the grill. Drink till 2020. 89 points and 5 stars. Salut….
Another in the low priced series that I have been working through. This one rings in at $14. It has a nice medium intensity of purple in the glass. The nose is very rich with plums, black berry and leather. On the palate it is more fruit forward than I had imagined. Very upfront with plums, cedar shavings and a touch of eucalyptus. There is a really delicious mid palate core of sweet black cherry that I am thoroughly enjoying. Tannins are very smooth, balanced and lithe. The finish exhibits a nice acidity and more plums. The dry leather component I found earlier appear ever so slightly and rounds out the finish. This is a very tasty wine, which gets 91 points from me- contrary to the 89-90 ratings the pro’s gave it. I think it will pair well with tonights flat iron steaks, Buffalo Cauliflower and sautéed asparagus. Certainly a 5 star wine that I think will get stocked up on. Summer party season is here and this one is front and center. Drink now till 2020. Salut….
The last time I tasted the 2009 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon was in 2014. This bottle was cellared until now. I’m doing up a Tri-Tip roast on the grill to accompany it alongside some sautéed asparagus and heirloom tomatoes.
It shows a very dark, brooding purple in the glass, which is what I expect from a powerhouse Napa Cabernet. The nose is lush, plummy, full of fruit and a touch of oak. After another swirl I also get blackberry in waves. On the palate this wine is absolutely amazing. Layers of black and blue fruit, finely grained tannins and a balance so precise between the acidity and dryness. Ripe plums, sweet blackberries and vanilla bean are very concentrated. Great extraction of fruit without overdoing it. I just read the label, 85% Cab Sav, 9% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc and a dash of Petit Verdot- which makes this a classical old-school Bordeaux blend. Malbec being the kicker, they don’t use it much these days over there.
The mid palate of this wine exhibits plum pie, black olive and some coffee bean. The tannins start to reveal a slight astringency, but I am still digging it. The finish is medium in length with more of that coffee thing I caught earlier. Meat is what this wine begs for. Roast it, grill it, braise it…. 92 points from me for this $60 beauty. 4 stars. Drink now till 2025. Salut….
A perennial favorite and surefire go-to wine that delivers consistency, value and widespread availability. It shows off a deep purple in the glass. The nose is full of blue fruit, coffee bean, a touch of oak. On the palate I sense some very lithe tannins that are very ingrained with blueberry, elderberry, cedar. The wine transitions very nicely to the mid palate and the finish gives me a definitive red currant note. The mouthfeel is very smooth, balanced and easygoing, making this a very flexible wine to pair with a variety of dishes. Cheese comes to mind as do the Sirloins I am grilling, with some Steamed Artichokes. The tannins are the longest running portion of this wine, leaving a definitive dry streak on the gums for quite a while. Not a hugely complex wine, it serves its purpose as an everyday drinker, capable of pairing with meats, pasta, cheese or all by its lonesome. Drink now. 89 points and 4 stars for this $14 wine. Salut….
Lighter shade of purple. On the nose I get a strong cassis note which intrigues me. Black fruits abound along with a cherry wood hint. The palate is delicious, slightly tannic but very interesting. Dark fruits galore with some bramble, a mintiness and coffee bean. I cannot believe the complexity of this $8 wine which made me review my previous notes from October 2016. I gave it 90 points back then and stated that it was young. It still is young, but it has developed substantially. You will not go wrong with this wine if you like grippy, tannic wines, like Tannat, Nero D’Avola or even Pinotage. Thick and juicy, heavy accented and most definitely made for the longer term. I am sticking with 90 points and 5 stars. I think I will be back to buy more. I served it with chipotle marinated skirt steak, salad and some Alfredo pasta. Salut….