Showing posts with label cabernet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cabernet. Show all posts

Monday, May 21, 2018

2015 Betz Family Winery Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Betz Family Winery Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

I do not drink many French wines for one reason or another, so when I tasted this 2015 Betz Family Winery Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon I was incredibly pleased and surprised by what I found.  I did absolutely no research on this wine before decanting and tasting it, and this wine immediately moved me to a quaint cafe, sipping this gem with good friends along the Champs Elysees under a mid day sun.  This medium to dark purple wine has very balanced aromas of blackberry pie, campfire smoke, seeping tea and cocoa powder, and none of these are overpowering.  This wine is an eyebrow raiser for sure and the flavors of blackcurrant, blueberry, smoke, dark chocolate-covered coffee beans and hints of grilling spices all combine for a velvety, savory broth-like feel that fills the mouth and lingers for many moments.  This wine was such a lovely surprise to taste and could end up as a "perfect" wine with a few more years under its belt in the cellar.  You'd never know that this is tipping close to an alcohol content of 15%.  It is made so beautifully and really puts a smile on your face. Simply incredible!  

2015 Betz Family Winery Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.7%

Red Mountain, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $110.00

Drink The Bottles score:  96/100


Saturday, May 12, 2018

2011 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

This is the first selection I've had the pleasure of tasting from Arns Winery and I will say without a doubt that they have spoiled me.  Sandi Belcher, winemaker for Arns Winery, had a challenging year as did most in California for this vintage.  But persistence pays off and it has paid off in a BIG way with this 100% varietal 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon!  Bright garnet in the glass and solid to the rim, this wine is not a big fruit bomb and certainly doesn't present itself like a wine of this age.  This gorgeous Cabernet is more reminiscent of an old world Bordeaux style, with muted fruit being replaced by rose petals, barn wood, ripening vegetables and shoe leather.  Instantly, you are transported to a place that is surrounded by people who don't just pop and pour, but truly savor wines that are complex like this with chocolate bits, braised beef, crushed black cherries and again with that beautiful, old world style barn wood and damp earth.  The finish isn't exceptionally long, but it is satisfying and you'll be going back for seconds and thirds of this wine.  The tannins are small and juicy and this wine is absolutely perfect for drinking right now.  I anticipate that it will continue to age gracefully for another 10 years.  After this, I am super excited to taste the 2012 and 2013 vintages soon!

2011 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.0%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $85.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2014 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

If you're looking for a very affordable and spicy Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvinon, this 2014 Truchard Vineyards wine should be on your radar.  Forward aromas of cherry, plum and spice box are framed with similar flavors that also include raspberry marmalade, vanilla and red licorice.  While the flavors all blend very evenly and compliment each other, the finish on this wine is the star, in my opinion.  The finish is long, spicy and very memorable.  Some air time in the decanter or some intense swirling really opens up this wine and softens the focused tannins.  You really can't go wrong with this wine and it should age gracefully for a very long time.   This would be a fun one to try again in 5 and 10 years as I think it will go through a beautiful transformation that will only further reward the wine fanatic.  This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (87%), Cabernet Franc (11%), Petit Verdot (1%) and Malbec (1%) and is beautifully blended.  Well done!  We are planning a trip to Napa Valley this summer, and Truchard might just have to be on our "must visit" list.

2014 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.2%

Carneros, Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $40.00

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100




Sunday, April 29, 2018

2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that can be enjoyed immediately and often with its incredibly soft tannins and welcoming mouth feel.  Smooth and supple, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (87%), Merlot (6%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petite Verdot (2%) offers a solid medium purple color and slender legs in the glass.  The aromas of rapsberry, cedar and licorice aren't necessarily the stars here, but rather the supporting cast to a wine that offers the same in the mouth and adds red licorice, roasted coffee beans and soft spices to the mix.  Even with the four blended grapes, I had anticipated a much younger feeling and more acidic wine that would be bright and benefit from a few more years in the bottle.  That was certainly not the case here!  This wine is completely approachable and one that I think you will enjoy with a pot roast dinner if you're looking for a food pairing.  But, it can certainly stand on it's own merit.

2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.3%

Knights Valley, Sonoma, California

Suggested retail price:  $36.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

2014 Gamble Family Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Gamble Family Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

I was super excited to taste my first (and certainly not last) wine from Gamble Family Vineyards.  This 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a flavorful and classy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (86%), Malbec (8%), Cabernet Franc (4%), Merlot (1%) and Petit Verdot (1%).  On the britgher red side in the glass with fiery red streaks at the rim, this wine expresses well-blended aromas of black fruits, blackberry jam, well toasted French bread and pencil lead.  In the mouth is a medium bodied wine that feels polished and refined.  It's really difficult to imagine that this wine is so young.  It drinks like a wine that has been in the cellar, aging appropriately and gracefully for ten or more years.  In the mouth are flavors of the same dark fruits, cocoa powder, mocha, clove and some sweet spices.  The finish isn't extremely long, but this wine is one that keeps you wanting to tip the bottle in your favor.  I am genuinely impressed!

2014 Gamble Family Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.1%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100


Sunday, April 15, 2018

2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The best part of being a wine blogger is the discovery of all types of wines from all over the world.  Many of these wines are from small, boutique wineries and many are mass-produced, with appeal to everyone who loves wine.  The best part of the 2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is that it is such a special wine that anyone can purchase, share and enjoy.  This is an incredible wine from a Napa Valley icon.  I had the pleasure of tasting Cathy's wine back in 2011 or 2012 and fell instantly in love.  And again, several years later, this wine and I connected and the romance blossomed once more.  Not yet released (coming soon), I was honored to sample this medium-to-dark red wine with aromas of black raspberry, rose petal, cigar wrapper, vanilla and plum.  Swirling this young wine really opens up the flavor profile and layers of plum, blackberry pipe smoke, spice cake and dark chocolate shavings are incredibly blended and memorable.  If there is one thing you can guarantee from Cathy Corison, it is consistency and unparalleled quality in Napa Valley Cabernet.  While many wines are commonly enjoyed with great foods, I prefer to enjoy this one independent of any food to completely appreciate and enjoy the complexity and flavor that is in the craft!  The 2015 Napa Valley vintage was all over the board, but as expected, Corison comes out on top again. Cheers!

2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  13.6%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $100.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100



2013 Galante Vineyards Blackjack Pasture Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Galante Vineyards Blackjack Pasture Cabernet Sauvignon

Bold, chewy and satisfying are adjectives that come to mind with this single vineyards select 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  No doubt that 100% Cab is among my top favorite varietals, and this 2013 Galante Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon from the Blackjack Pasture is a fine example of a California classic.  Potpourri bouquet of dried cherries, chocolate, Italian herb and prime rib blend evenly  introduce swollen and balanced tannins throughout.  The predominant black cherry flavors are joined by hints of tar and dried herb.  This wine would be a good friend to the biggest, mouth-watering piece of beef that you can find.  The worst part?  Only having one bottle.  Drink for 12+ years!

2013 Galante Vineyards Blackjack Pasture Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.2%

Carmel Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Friday, April 13, 2018

2013 Burgess Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Burgess Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Back when I first began blogging many years ago on Midwest Wine Guy, Tom Burgess was so kind to take my phone call and talk to me about his winery, his vineyards and the valley.  As a wine novice, I was super impressed but probably didn't realize the complete impact of such a wine legend answering my call and talking to me like an old friend.   I will forever appreciate those minutes.  Fast forward several years and again I'm honored with tasting and writing about this 2013 Burgess Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon.  This is a lovely and tasty blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Merlot (12%), Petit Verdot (11%) and Malbec (2%).  Dark crimson color with black rim, balanced aromas include black and red currant, natural dried herbs and cedar planks.  In the mouth, you're greeted with a wine that is as smooth as glass and drinks absolutely amazingly with flavors of blueberry, black raspberry compote, mocha and mild vanilla bean.  You would be remiss not to drink this bottle for yourself.  It is as smooth as any wine that I've had in recent memory.  Excellent bottle that should last 15+ years.

Burgess Cellars - Tom, Steven, James

ABV:  14.7%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

2014 Readers Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Readers Cabernet Sauvignon
I've thoroughly enjoyed tasting the "Readers" wines over the past 45 days and I'm so pleased every time I have the opportunity to do so.  This 2014 vintage from Bookwalter Winery stands up to Cabernet blends that are easily twice the price.  While I am a staunch supporter of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the blends that have been coming out of the west coast for the past 10-12 years have really helped pull in more non-traditional red wine drinkers and in many cases, have helped create wines that are more flavorful and expressive.  This blend boasts blackberry jam, dusty library books and a distinct mocha aroma that is reminiscent of your favorite coffee shop.  In the mouth is a solid wine that doesn't feel tight or young at all, but rather more mature than it is with predominant flavors of blackberry, wet stone and steak seasoning.  In the glass, this wine has sexy legs and a color that puts a smile on your face.  The Readers branded wines are an exceptional value.

2014 Readers Cabernet Sauvignon Label
ABV:  14.9%

Columbia Valley & Yakima Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $28.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

Saturday, April 7, 2018

2015 Avalon Red Blend

2015 Avalon Red Blend

Did you know that most wine consumers spend less that $12 on average for a bottle and that over 90% of the wine is consumed on the day that it is purchased?  In other words, most people are buying wine at the grocery store or wine store, taking it home and enjoying it.  And with a name like Drink The Bottles I can't argue with that logic.  But often, people will look at those same low priced bottles and not look past the end of their nose if they are looking for a quality, delicious wine.  And that would be a HUGE mistake by passing this one up.  The 2015 Avalon Winery BLEND is a red wine that includes some of my favorite varietals, which is probably why I am so drawn to it.  It is a beautiful plum skinned color in the glass with strong and welcoming aromas of fresh blackberries, barn wood and hints of licorice.  Made up of Zinfandel (54%), Cabernet Sauvignon (21%), Tannat (20%) and Petite Sirah (5%), the flavors include very juicy blueberries and blackberries, toast and mildly peppered tar.  This wine is bolder than most would expect (including present company).  It doesn't linger but finishes solidly and I'm going to certify this an FGW - Flippin' Good Wine!

2015 Avalon Red Blend Label

ABV:  13.5%

California

Suggested retail price:  $11.99

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

Thursday, April 5, 2018

2015 Bookwalter Winery Suspense Cabernet Franc

2015 Bookwalter Winery Suspense Cabernet Franc

I've always kind of joked to myself that Cabernet Franc is the smaller, weaker cousin of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Maybe the middle child who didn't get enough attention?  I've just seldom had a truly grand experience with Cab Franc, but as the Monkees would say.....now "I'm a believer".  The 2015 Suspense Cabernet Franc from Bookwalter Winery will change the way you think about this wine.  While it's not 100% Cab Franc, the 17% Merlot blend is smart and adds some depth and complexity to this Columbia Valley wine.  After the gorgeous deep garnet color, the nose presents lively cherry aromas with earthly sage and whiffs of pomegranate.  Where this wine really, really got me was the surprise on the palate.   There was an unconventional and incredibly welcoming spice that joined the Cremè de cassis, cherry, raspberry and smooth-as-glass finish that leads to a very memorable tasting experience.  This is a healthy wine that is going to age amazingly and would be fun to taste every year for the next ten years and compare notes.  While this wine is a fun solo sipper, it would be well represented with a grilled ham steak, Polish sausage or a number of non-traditional meats.

2015 Bookwalter Winery Suspense Cabernet Franc Label

ABV:  14.8%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100


Sunday, March 25, 2018

2015 Readers Merlot

2015 Readers Merlot

I'll admit that I've never been to Columbia Valley, Washington, but it seems that I need to make a trip sometime.  The wines that are coming out of this region are really putting a smile on my face these days, and the 2015 Readers Merlot from Bookwalter Winery is no exception.  What's the first thing wine snobs will look at when they see this bottle?  The screw top.  While I love the resounding "pop" of a cork, I also learned all too long ago that screw tops technically are the best best for most wines: no tainted corks, renewable resource in recyclable caps, etc.  Ok, I just realized I haven't talked about the wine at all and clearly it is the star of this show!  This is a blend of Merlot (90%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) and it presents itself very stoically in the glass.  Aromas of black cherry, hints of blueberry and chocolate and it you're a super-swirler like I am, you might even pick up some green earth and cherry tobacco.  Incredibly soft tannins welcome the mouth and flavors of black cherry pie filling, chocolate chips, and cedar.  Don't let the alcohol content (pushing 15%) scare you; this is not hot at all.  This drinks incredibly well and would be a bison burger's best friend!

2015 Readers Merlot Label

ABV:  14.9%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $28.00

Drink The Bottles Score:  90/100

2013 Galante Vineyards Kick Ass Red

2013 Galante Vineyards Kick Ass Red

One taste of this California red blend wine and you'll wonder why the price tag isn't closer to the $40 - $45 range.  In other words, the 1000 cases of the 2013 Galante Vineyards Kick Ass Red is 12,000 bottles of what appears to be an undiscovered or certainly underappreciated secret!  Incredibly dark and gripping in the glass, this wine bursts with blackberry, black pepper, burnt ends and smoked animal hide.  Mostly Malbec (70%), it's also joined by Petite Sirah (20%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) which provides some strength, a slightly bolder finish and that dark, sexy coloring.  Mouth-watering blackberry jam, cedar, pepper and a wisp of smoke lead to a finish that has hints more of blueberry and mineral and in a semi-dry and delicious finish.  This is a perfect steak and baked potato wine......or lamb chops......or barbecue chicken.....just about anything meaty!  For those in your life who "don't like red wine", I think you'll change their mind with this selection!

2013 Galante Vineyards Kick Ass Red Label

ABV:  13.5%

Carmel Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $25.00

Drink The Bottles Score:  92/100

Saturday, March 24, 2018

2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon

Incredibly dark, nearly black in the glass with blended aromas of dark fruits, licorice and tobacco leaf with hints of damp earth.  This 2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon is medium bodied and very easy to drink with flavors of dark fruits, dark chocolate, flakes of fine pepper and cinnamon.  This wine finishes brightly and has velvety tannins that gives a welcoming and smooth feel in the mouth.  I like this wine.  The dark colors and peppery notes hint that this is a Cabernet blend, and for this price it certainly is a bargain!

2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  13.5%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $17.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

2015 J Bookwalter Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 J Bookwalter Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon

I am so stoked about this wine I almost don't know where to begin!  Bookwalter Winery has created an amazing wine in the 2015 Protagonist Cabernet Sauvginon.  While not the most fragrant wine you'll ever experience, the flavors are the superstars here!  Dark cherry, graphite and a touch of sulfur smoke greet you warmly and are a stark contrast of the flavors leap from the glass.  This wine feels nice and tight and flavors of black berry, mineral and black currant dance around and introduce a finish that is welcoming and absolutely fulfilling. Smartly balanced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (95%), Merlot (5%), Syrah (3%) and Cabernet Franc (2%), this wine has a beautiful medium-to-dark purple color and it is delicious now; I suspect will be just as wonderful in another 10+ years.  Beautiful!

2015 J Bookwalter Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.9%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

2014 Galante Vineyards Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Galante Vineyards Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon

If you love fruit-forward, juicy Cabernet, this is not your huckleberry.  If you love a strong, boldly-structured, memorable wine that is just now realizing it's potential, then I proudly present the 2014 Galante Vineyards Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon.  This smart blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Malbec and Merlot create an absolutely stunning deep garnet color.  The blend of these wines gives this wine a bit green aromas that blend magically with dark fruits, blueberry, spice cake, and vanilla after some time in the glass or in a decanter.  This wine is not hot at all.  In fact, it feels strong and welcoming in the mouth with flavors of blackberry, ripe beefsteak tomato, steak spices and a brief spot of soy sauce at the back of the throat.   The tannins frame the finish of this wine and I tasted it by itself and with dark chocolate chips.  You can eat this with a rare hunk of prime rib now, but I suspect this wine will be even more wonderful in the next 3-5 years and it will probably knock you out of your cowboy boots then!  If you collect wines (which is contrary to "drink the bottles") you should have no problem cellaring this for 10-15 years.

2014 Galante Vineyards Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.0%

Carmel Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $40.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend

There are a few wine phrases I've said dozens (hundreds?) of times over the years.  One of these phrases would be, "Good wine doesn't have to be expensive".  And that proves to be true with this 2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend.  Made up of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (27%), Merlot (65%) and Syrah (8%), this wine has a very dark red color with purple center and a very nice layer of aromas like black raspberry, chocolate, dried cooking spices and a hint of pipe tobacco smoke.  This wine is much brighter than anticipated and fills the mouth with ripe berries and plum flavors, blended very evenly.  The chocolate and smokiness is realized on the back side of this tasting and the wine bids adieu with a memorable and strong finish.

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend Label

ABV:  13.5%

Columbia Valley, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $14.00

Drink The Bottles score:  87/100

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

2013 Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain Blend

2013 Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain Blend

Oh what fun this gem is!  The 2013 Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain Blend is made up of a myriad of popular wines.  Very dark in the glass all the way to the edge and the well balanced acidity provides for a tart beginning to a semi-sweet, solid finish on this medium bodied, well rounded wine.  A lot of dark fruits are popping through here and they are balanced with the herbs and leathery goodness that come through on the nose and in the mouth.  This wine would pair extremely well with a French Onion Soup or a beautiful bone-in ribeye.  This has been in bottle for nearly 4 years and you could drink this in 5 years and be just as satisfied, if not more.   The makeup on this wine is Cabernet Sauvignon (59%), Merlot (28%), Cabernet Franc (5%), Malbec (4%), Petite Verdot (2%) and Syrah (2%).  Did I mention that I love the color?

ABV:  13.5%

Red Mountain, Washington

Suggested retail price:  $28.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100



Friday, March 9, 2018

2015 Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon
I figured since it was time to start writing again, I might as well start with my favorite varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon.   Now don’t start putting your nose in the air and poo poo this wine because it’s not a 100% Cab.  It’s also not priced like a full blooded red that we love to drink by ourselves and not share with the neighbors.   This 2015 Avalon CAB is a generous blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon along with Merlot (7%), Tannat (4%), Petit Sirah (2%) and Zinfandel (2%).  With this you’re getting a very affordable and tasty medium to dark red wine that has treats you with baking spices, black cherry, raspberry and some touches of vanilla.   This wine has spent some time in oak barrels which further brings out some mocha on the smooth finish.  The important thing here is that this wine is very good.  And this wine pairs great with just about anything hearty – a meatloaf, burgers, pizza, some medium to stout flavored cheeses.    You can’t go wrong here and you can impress your friends and your accountant at the same time.  *The 2014 vintage is pictured.
Suggested retail price:  $11.99
Drink The Bottles score:  87/100

2019 Pope Valley Winery Sauvignon Blanc

  We've been tasting and writing about some lovely white wines lately and that has put us in the mood for warmer weather.  The 2019 Pope...