Friday, January 30, 2009

Anakena - Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $9.99
Region: Chile
Year: 2006

I tried to post last week's selection a little earlier in the week, but I guess time just got away from me. So, I know it is almost time for this weekend's selection, but here goes anyway. One thing it has been around here lately in the Northeast, and that is cold. So, last Sunday seemed the perfect day to have a nice pot of beef stew for dinner. Seemed like my wife was up for it too, so that was the plan. Now, when it comes to matching up a good wine with dinner, I usually don't try to stick too much by the book, but there is just something about beef stew and Cabernet Sauvignon in my opinion. So, off to the store I went. I will admit, it took me a while to find something I wanted to try. What it came down to was i decided to try a completely different region then my standard California Cabernet. The bottle from Chile, just happened to jump out after a little browsing.

So, when it came time for dinner, I was excited to pour myself a glass. When I first saw the wine in my glass, my first word was wow. When I say deep, dark in color, I am not kidding this time. This wine was almost black it was so dark, but definitely in a good way. The color made me look forward to the meal that much more. Interesting enough, on the label it mentioned some of the tastes, and smells. Now, if you happen to have read my initial entry when I laid our the reasns I was going to write this blog each week, you'll know I am not very good at distinguishing what others say I should smell or taste. This was no different as I did not smell tabacco or licorice, but it was very pleasant nonetheless. So, after the first two observations went so well, I was hoping not to be disappointed as has happened a couple fo times recently. Luckily, that was not the case here. This wine had a wonderful fruit forward taste, and was very smooth, with good length. It definitely enhanced a great dinner on a cold winter night. I will definitely take a longer look at wines from Chile based on the experience here.

Rating: 3.75 Corks (Pretty darn good)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Columbia Crest - Two Vines Cabernet-Merlot

Price: $7.99
Region: Washington State
Year: 2005

OK, kind of a different weekend on the activity front, so same goes for the wine review. Friday was actually pretty quiet, but I already had one of my default wine in the basement, so I decided to have a bottle of Bogle Petite Shiraz -> instead of going out an getting another bottle. Then, on Saturday I took my 12 year old son to see Metallica in Philadelphia, so no drinking on that night. That left Sunday for my wine of the week. However, this week we were having dinner at my in-laws, so I was kind of hoping the wine with dinner was something I hadn't review yet. Luckily enough, it was.

There are a couple of different Columbia Crest wine I liek very much, and actually, when I get around to buying my last default wine, it just might end up being a Columbia Crest wine, but this is one I have not tried before. It is called Two Vines, and to be honest I did not read the bottle to find out why. However, it is a Cabernet/Merlot blend. I had my first glass with some simple appetizers, and watching the NFC Championship game. When I first poured a glass, and took a look, I was hoping for a little darker red. It was a good color, but could see through the wine just a touch. In addition, the smell was not very unique, but did border on tart. Again, not something I was expecting. So, at this point, with being a little disappointed with the color and smell, my expectation were lowered. When I took the first sip, I think it at least met my lowered expectations. It was by no means a horrible wine, but having very much enjoyed some Columbia Crest wines in the past, I was just hoping for a little more. The taste was just not very bold, or distinct. It kind of tasted like one of the wines you would expect to have at a large gathering in a clear plastic cup. Not really anything that could offend someone, but really nothing special either. With some other very good Columbia Crest wines out there, I would just have to pass on trying this one again.

Rating: 2.5 Corks (Definition of Middle of the Road)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Silverwing - Barossa Shiraz

Price: $10.99
Region: Australia
Year: 2005

Some habits are just hard to break. For some reason, in the beginning of January, I decided to go pick up a few bottles of wine instead of having to go out to the store every weekend. I walked around for a while just to see what would catch my attention, and after a while, I found myself in the Shiraz aisle. Sometimes it is just hard for me to pass by an Australian Shiraz that has a sign on it about being highly rated. As is almost always the case with Australian wine, it is always reasonable. So, this was no exception. Plus, I thought the silver dragon fly on the bottle was pretty cool.

Anyway, the wine has been down stairs for a couple of weeks, and I decided to give it a try last night. Nothing special for dinner, just take out from our favorite Italian eatery. I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, and maybe it is because I tend to stick to bold red wines, but this wine had a nice deep ruby color. It also had a very nice aroma, with just a little spiciness to it, but definitely not overpowering. It was really just the right balance for me. I assume as with most things, that is a personal preference, but I'm not thrilled with wines that have an overly strong smell. So, After whirling it around a bit, I gave it a taste, and I was not disappointed. Again, you probably know I tend to favor a Shiraz, but when they're not good, I'll be the first to say I didn't like it. That was not the case here. This wine was smooth, with great length as the taste didn't disappear right away. Also, that hint of spicy smell, was the same with the taste. Just enough to be bold, but not overpowering. I was thinking the other day that I might not see a wine climb into my top five for a while, but I was wrong, as this was one I will definitely try again!

Rating: 3.75 Corks (Could become a regular)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Robert Mondavi - Meritage

Price: $10.99
Region: California
Year: 2006

As I mentioned last week, New Year's Eve is my birthday. In a sort of dual celebration, my wife and I have had a nice sushi dinner for the past five years or so. It is definitely a favorite of ours. We almost always get sushi take out from the same place, and this year was no different. Now, I just had to go about picking out a wine to go along with dinner. The difference this year is that I received a couple of bottles of wine as birthday presents, so I decided to pick one of those. My brother gave me a bottle of Robert Mondavi Meritage, which is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (72%), with the rest being made up of Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc. I usually don't like to go check what people paid for a gift, but if I was going to review it, I had to know how much it cost. As you can see, it fits nicely into the range of most of the wines I have reviewed so far.

After getting back from picking up dinner, I sat down and poured myself a glass. This was one dark red wine. It was almost beyond purple, and bordered on black. There was no seeing through this glass of wine. I was expecting an equally strong smell, but when I twirled my glass and took a sniff, I was surprised that was not the case at all. A very pleasant smell, and kind of "earthy", but definitely a little faint. So far, my impression was that this wine was a very middle of road bottle of wine, but it was time to take a taste. Not surprisingly, the taste continued the trend. It was good, but not great. it was smooth, but short in length. The taste started off on a good foot, but then just went away. If there is anything about wine I enjoy, it is when the taste lingers for a second or two, and that just wasn't the case here. Overall, not a bad wine, but again, are lots more out there to try so not one I'll run back out to buy.

Rating: 2.75 Corks (Pretty Good)