Sunday, January 23, 2011

Courtney Benham - Merlot

Price: $15
Region: Napa Valley
Year: 2008

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a lot of wines to get to. I tend to write about those that are most fresh in my mind, but when ends up happening is that a lot of the wines I've tried, and intend on reviewing, get lost in the shuffle. So, as I sat down for my second review of the night, I started to write about another wine I had this weekend, but decided at the last second to change gears and review a wine from last week. This particular wine I had actually bought so for my wife who was heading over to a friends house, but found out at the last second that they had gone out an bought a few bottles as well, so this was one mine to keep (or drink).

I have had a couple of wine from this winery, that usually turn out to be pretty darn good. I believe they have Angeline and Martin Ray in their lineup as well. I had never had the Courtney Benham Merlot, and as it is a little more than I usually buy for my weekend wines, it was still only $15. What caught me by surprise was how dark red this wine was when first poured. It came out as a very bold looking wine. Then I gave the glass a swirl, and noticed a very nice floral smell. At this point I was fairly impressed and really looking forward to having a taste. I definitely was not disappointed. I know a lot of people view Merlot as a boring, middle of the road kind of wine that lacks the style of a lot of other reds, but this wine was very interesting, with good structure, and a very consistent flavor. I really enjoyed this wine, and will look for other offerings from this vineyard.

Rating: 3.75 corks (Very Nice)

Chilenesis - Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $9.99
Region: Chile
Year: 2009

Wow, do I have a lot of wines to get to. I've had a good variety of wines lately, with some very good ones, and so kind of middle of the road. I picked this one because I happen to be having a glass right now. My wife has kind of gotten into a habit of stopping by the wine store on Friday afternoons and picking out a couple of bottles of wine for the weekend for us to share. She always tries to stay within the guidelines of buying wine that is $15 or under so that I can use it in my blog, and this was no exception. This weekend she happened to buy 3 bottles, and I will try to get to the other bottle we tried a little later tonight, but for now, I'm going to write about this bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile.

As you would expect with a Cab from Chile, when this wine it sitting in the glass, it truly has a deep dark red look about it. Definitely no surprise there. When I give the glass a swirl, and take a sniff however, I get a unique aroma. It smells just a little bit tart, but the overriding smell is one of berries. Mostly notably blackberries, but again, just a bit tart. So, when I go to take a sip, i am expecting a rather fruit forward flavor, but the flavor that hits me, and just won't go away is one of vanilla. The flavor doesn't really hit until it gets to the back of the tongue, and then there is still a bit of tartness, but really not bad. I was expecting a little smoother wine, as I had enjoyed some very good values out of Chile. This one isn't bad, but not the top of my list. Worth a try if you like the taste of vanilla in your wine.

Rating: 2.75 corks (Not my favorite, but not bad)