Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Penfolds - Koonunga Hill Shiraz/Cabernet

Price: $10.99
Region: Australia
Year: 2007

OK, back to reality. While last week was totally out of the ordinary, I wasn't quite so lucky this week. Still a nice Friday night at home with the family, some homemade tacos, and a bottle of wine. While I went to one of my least favorite wine stores, mostly because it is on aver $2-$3 more expensive per bottle, it is the closest to my house so it did the trick. I will say they have a fairly good selection, so its not all bad. As I was walking around looking for a bottle to try, I just thought to myself that I hadn't tried an Australian Shiraz in a little while. It is also a wine that rarely lets me down. While I have had a couple different bottles of Penfold's wine, I had not as yet tried teh Koonunga Hills Shiraz/Cab mix. There was no time like the present.

So, as I mentioned already, my wife was making dinner on Friday this week, so no take-out to pick up. Once I got home, I sat down and poured myself a glass. One of the reasons I love a good Shiraz is because of the great color, and this wine was no different. A nice dark purple wine, that had good depth. So, when I gave my glass a swirl, and took a sniff, I again was not disappointed. A very nice fragrant wine, which I would say was above average in that it really stood out to me. As always, the taste has more weight in my book. As I took a sip, I will say it had a nice fruit-forward taste, and was generally pretty smooth. The taste faded a bit quick for my liking, but it wasn't weak by any means. I wouls ay all in all the taste was a little shy of the color and smell, but in general, a very good $11 bottle of wine that you can probably find for a couple dollar cheaper. Overall, I would put it ont he "give it a try list". Next week we are off to vacation, so I might a couple of extra bottles to review :)

Rating: 3.25 corks (Give it a try)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pine Ridge - Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $90 (in 2004)
Region: Napa, California
Year: 2001

OK, definitely way out of the guidelines I originally set up for my blog, but I couldn't go without reviewing this wine. It was a wine that my wife and I purchased on a trip to Napa, Ca. for our 10th wedding anniversary in 2004. The plan was always to put it in our little wine refrigerator until anniversary number 15, and then break it out for a special dinner. Although our anniversary is a little over a month away, we were able to sneak in a nice little getway this past weekend. We ate dinner at a great little BYOB restaurant that is about 20 minutes away, and I just couldn't wait to give this wine a try. I litteraly had been waiting 5 years.

So, we ordered a couple of appetizers, and poured ourselves each a glass. From the get go, it was exactly as I expected. A deep, dark red color was definitely no surprise. This is a top rated Cab each year, and shallow in color was one thing it was not going to be. The smell was equally impressive. A great fruity smell, that definitely had some body behind it. So, now, the only thing left to do was give it a taste. I know there is not much suspense here, but wow, what a great wine. It was velvety smooth, with a great red berry flavor, that had tremendous length. I know that when you are used to $10 - $15 bottles of wine like I am, that a bottle that almost cost $100 is in a different league, but at least it tasted like it. I would have been a bit disappointed if it wasn't a homerun across the board, but no such let down here. I will say that when we were in Napa, we had a private tasting at Pine Ridge where we barrel tasted this wine, and it wasn't quite as good as it was that day, but not far behind. The point here is that every once in a while, even if it is once every 5 years, treat yourself, and see how the other side live :)

Rating: 4.5 (Wow)