Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mendoza Station - Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $9.99 (1.5 liter)
Region: Argentina
Year: 2008

Obviously another selection that I didn't have much luck finding a picture for. So far they've been few and far between, so I'll stick with my default picture. This would have been a weekend where I took the time to look for a little nicer bottle of wine because it was for my father-in-laws birthday dinner. That would usually coincide with a nice cut of steak or one of his other favorite meals, however, it was a super busy weekend, so we decided to make it simple, and have hamburgers instead. Whatever we ended up having, I really wanted to try out my new grill, so hamburgers worked for me. I will admit, my original intent was to run in and grab a 1.5 liter bottle of my #1 default wine, Yellowtail Shiraz. When I went to the aisle with the 1.5 liter bottles, this wine just jumped out at me. It was definitely a new selection in this store, and I could pass up the opportunity given the excellent price.

We started out with a simple appetizer of chips and guacamole, and I figured it was time to give the new wine a try. Everyone else was enjoying Corona and lime, as it was a warm spring afternoon, but I was really looking forward to giving this wine a try. I poured my first glass, and I was thinking the color was a bit lighter then I was expecting. Not weak looking, but not as deep as I was thinking it might be based on previous Cabs from Argentina. I then took a smell, and thought it was very pleasant. Again, not overly bold, but nice. So, after I swirled it around a bit more, I thought it was time to give it a try. I took a sip, and the first thing I noticed is that it was very smooth. Sometimes with wine hovering around this price for a 1.5 liter bottle, you get some bite, but this wine was definitely not bitter. It also had very good length, as the taste hung around for a second or two, and finished nicely. It was a not a big, bold Cabernet by any stretch, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I would especially think based on the price, this would be an excellent wine to but a bunch of when you have a large gathering of friends. This could also be one of the inexpensive every day wines that you keep around the house. Overall, and wine with a few different uses for sure.

Rating: 3.0 Corks (Nice, especially for the price)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sebeka - Cabernet/Pinotage

Price: $9.99
Region: South Africa
Year: 2007

This week I happened to be in one of my less favorite wine stores, and I must say it is mostly because of the price, but nonetheless it was convenient. So, I would say you could easily buy this wine for around $7.99 at stores that have more competitive pricing, but for now we'll go with what I paid. When I walked into the store, I just made the decision I was going to find a wine from South Africa this week. I have worked with some colleagues from South Africa for quite some time now, and on a visit a few years back, one brought me over a couple of very nice bottles of wine. So, every once in a while I see if I can find something that matches up. So far, very few have, but it could very well be the price point I keep sticking to. Anyway, this one looked different, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I can't really say I know exactly what a wine made from the Pinotage grape should taste like, but based on the brief write-up on the label, it seemed like I wasn't going too far out on a limb. Things started off well enough. The wine had a very nice bold color to it when I poured my first glass. I would say it was more a dark purple, then dark red, but either way, I was impressed. The smell on the other hand, was not quite as bold. It was pleasant enough, with what I would say was a hint of floral background, but in general it was a little weaker then I anticipated. As always, the important piece was the flavor. Based on a plus, and a minus so far, I really didn't know what to expect. Unfortunately, it definitely didn't "wow" me. My first impression was that it had a bit of an odd tasting bite at the onset, but then that went away quickly. It didn't have great length, and wasn't what I usually expect from a California Cabernet.

I would say overall, it wasn't horrible, but nothing I'm going to rush out and buy again. Interestingly enough, the 2nd glass I enjoyed more then the first. It may have been that the bite I epxerienced with the first glass was not as noticeable with subsequent glasses. I also saved a couple of glasses for another day, and also thought it wasn't too bad a couple of days later. Again, nothing to write home about, but if it sticks out on the shelf someday, might consider giving it a try.

Rating: 2.25 Corks (When you run out of others to try)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

L de Lyeth - Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $10.99
Region: California
Year: 2006

Nothing too exciting for dinner, but somehow just decided that I was in the mood to try a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Sometime I go into the wine store looking for a wine from a particular country, and other times it is a specific variety. Most times I do it just to make my search for a new bottle a little less time consuming, although this time it didn't seem to work very well. I must have looked at a dozen different bottles of Cabernet that I hadn't tried before, and I just couldn't make up my mind. Anyway, I settled for this bottle of L de Lyeth, and I can't exactly say why. Maybe it was the interesting name, who knows.

Nothing too out of the ordinary for dinner, just something from the Italian eatery we seems to hit every other week. So, I sat down and poured a glass. As I would have expected from a Cab, the color was deep and rich. Sort of a dark purple with a hint of red. When I took a smell, I was pleasantly surprised. It had a very nice aroma. Actually, I decided to give it a couple more twirls because I really found it appealing. So far so good with this one. I took my first sip, and I quickly noitced that it was very smooth, with a slightly subdued taste. It was not overly bold for a Cabernet, but it was by no means bad. So, the inital flavor was good, overall it was very smooth, but it did not have great length, or that type of taste that lets you know you just tasted a Cabernet Sauvignon. I think I will put it on the list of wines to give another try some day.

Rating: 2.75 Corks (More good then bad)