Showing posts with label Cabernet Sauvignon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cabernet Sauvignon. Show all posts


Okay. I admit it. I'm a sucker for a gimmicky label hence the reason I purchased the 2006 Happy Camper Cabernet Sauvignon. That, and a good price at $7.99. What did I expect from an inexpensive Cabernet you ask? Well, I'm always on the look out for an undiscovered jewel and I was hoping this might be it. Alas, it wasn't. Now don't get me wrong, this was not a bad wine just not as refined as I might have wanted. Lot of fruit in this one but definitely a little on the sweeter side. I would recommend this to those just starting out as it is drinkable and had no tannin that I could pick up. Very little noted on the nose as well. I gave this one 3 Corkscrews as the price was right and it was a good, middle of the week, hanging out in my hotel room, type of wine. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!


Well 365Corks is relocating to the Northern Virginia area after 2 1/2 years in a wine wasteland known as Little Rock, Arkansas. Love the area, people are great, but the wine availability is some of the worst of anywhere I've lived and the state legislature is hard at work trying to raise the tax rate on wine even more! I guess being ranked #5 of states with the highest tax on wine isn't good enough and they're striving to be #1. Still can't have wine shipped to you in the state. According to the good Governor, teenagers might order wine and have it shipped to them. You can't make this stuff up! On my relocation trip I stayed at the Alcoa (Knoxville, Tenn area) Courtyard by Marriott hotel. Great rate, nicely updated room, and a few munchies, cheese, crackers, chips and cookies at happy hour. Wine and Beer aren't free, $1 for Beer, $2 for Wine and Liquor, (probably a state law or something that they can't give it to you), but they are still affordable. That being said I ordered a glass of the 2005 Forest Ville Cabernet Sauvignon and $2.19 later I had my first taste. Not tons of fruit but drinkable and very little tanin. It was worth every penny of the $2.19! Not a great wine but worked out fine after a good eight hours on the road. I probably wouldn't pay a whole lot for this wine, I see it listed for $5.99/bottle on the Internet, which is probably the most I would pay. Not a lot of deep flavors but nothing off-putting either. I gave this one 3 Corkscrews based on its very affordable price and drink ability. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine and Look out Northern Virginia!


There's only been one other time that I've rated two different varietals from the same winery as high as my last two ratings. As you may recall from my last post, if you didn't read it please look below, #1 and I absolutely loved the Sauvignon Blanc from Maddalena Vineyards. Not expecting near as much out of the 2004 Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon, we opened this and let it breathe for thirty minutes or so. I poured a small tasting amount into my glass and swirled for a few seconds. Not the dark, ruby red you see in some Cabernets but more of a medium red color. As I took a nice, full amount of aroma into my nostrils, I was greeted with vanilla, plum and spices. On the palate I picked up raspberry, spiced cherries, a little bit of caramel and maybe just a little oak. Tannins were almost non-existent and this wine had a silky finish that made me want more. Lots more! Having enjoyed this bottle as much as their Sauvignon, I had to find out more. These grapes are sourced from the Cass, Erickson and Steinbeck vineyards and aged in new and used oak barrels from French and American coopers. This wine was rated 88 points by Wine Spectator and was a Gold Medal winner at the Los Angeles County Fair. Retail price on this one is $13.95 but a recent check of the San Antonio Winery site showed it on sale at $12.95. Believe me. That's a steal at either price! Another very easy 5 Corkscrew rating. I thought I might be getting a little too easy in my ratings but #1 agrees wholeheartedly and she's a much tougher rater than I am. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon for a real Treat!


Sunday, 7/1, Little Rock, AR
I bought today's reviewed wine, the 2000 Silver Fox Vineyards Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, more as a souvenir than anything else. I had never heard of this vineyard and saw this in the huge store in Yosemite Park, California. I paid about $13.00/bottle and brought it back to Arkansas with me to try at some future date. Well today was that future date. #1 pulled it out of the cellar so that it could warm a little bit on Saturday and we ended up uncorking it Sunday night. I poured a glass through my Vinturi and then proceeded to check out the nose. Wow! Tons of cherry and plum with a little bit of oak coming through. After that start I was anxious to give it a taste and was not disappointed at all. More of the cherry, plums and strawberry with a perfect blend of spiced oak. My first glass went much too quickly and my second glass was every bit as good as the first, if not better! I easily gave this one the much sought after and coveted 5Corkscrews. Incredible taste and aroma and at $13.00/bottle a steal for this Cabernet. I only hope I can find some around here but I'm not going to get my hopes up. Find some of this and buy it as soon as you can before they run out. Only 416 cases produced. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Silver Fox Cabernet!



Monday, 6/18, Sin City, NV
#1 and I, having left the kids with the grandparents in Arkansas, slept in until about 8:30 a.m. this morning. We finally crawled out of bed and 30 minutes or so later, headed down to the Canyon Ranch Spa Cafe located on the 4th floor of The Venetian. We both had a very enjoyable, and healthy, breakfast then it was to the spa for #1 and to the Venetian Poker Room for me. We agreed to meet back at the room around 1:00 p.m. and, after 3 hours of Texas Hold 'Em $8-16 action, I headed to the room up a grand total of $20. A day of shopping by #1, and more card action for me, allowed for a most enjoyable day.
Our night started with a short walk to The Mirage where we saw Cirque du Soleil's presentation of Love which is based on the music of the Beatles. A very good performance although I have to say that there was a whole lot of dancing by the performers and not as much acrobatics as I've seen in their other shows. My first exposure to Cirque was Mystere which I still count as my favorite. After the performance it was of to Pinot Brasserie where we had a delightful cheese plate and 1/2 dozen raw oysters. Unfortunately 2 of the 6 were bad, bad, bad. It's gotten to the point where I'm going to quit eating raw oysters. With the cheese we ordered a glass of 04 Moon Mountain Chardonnay by Chalone Vineyards. This vineyard seems to be everywhere in Vegas. This was a typical California chard with lots of fruit and oak. Very flavorful and well balanced but nothing really extraordinary. I gave it 3 Corkscrews based on good taste and what I suspect is a decent retail price. We paid $8/glass so it is a little hard to say that it was a good value at that price. We followed the chardonnay with an 05 Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon. This was a really good wine! Full of strawberry and cherry flavors, very little tannin noted and a smooth finish. This was Pinot's house cabernet and a great bargain at $8/glass. I'm sure it is very affordable at retail and I will definitely be picking some up. I gave this one 4 Corkscrews based on excellent taste and value. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine and Always Split Aces!


Wednesday, 5/16, San Francisco, CA Part II
The La Crema was so good that I had to have another glass of something. Being adventurous I scoured the wine list and noticed the 2002 Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Not being familiar with this wine at all, I had to give it a try. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. When my waiter served it, I swirled for a minute and then tried to smell what aromas might be present. To my surprise, and somewhat shock, I couldn't pick up any nose and if I did pick up anything, it was of some type of unidentified, unpleasant odor. I thought to myself that the Grand Hyatt had placed another bad wine on their list! Of course, I was wrong! When I tasted this cab, I was treated to lots of ripe fruit, cherry, raspberry, oak, spices and a soft, soft tannin. Great finish with the aforementioned fruit staying on my tongue to remind me how good this glass was. I paid $13/glass for this, as well as the La Crema that I reviewed, but it was well worth it. I gave this one 4 Corkscrews and am hopeful that it is available in Arkansas as I will be looking for it when I return home. Many of you may be familiar with this wine but if not, go out and find some as you will not be disappointed. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!


Tuesday, 5/1, Little Rock, AR
$5.99 for a Cabernet Sauvignon? How good could it possibly be? I thought the same thing and I'll be the first to say that this wine will not measure up to a $30-50/bottle of Cabernet, but for the price it can't be beat. After I unscrewed the cap off of the 02 Screw Kappa Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from Sebastiani, I poured a generous amount into my bowl shaped stem. The dark plum color looked similar to good cabs I've had before. On the nose I picked up raspberry, cherry and a lot of strawberry. In the mouth the strawberry was still there in large quantities, accompanied by vanilla and a hint of cocoa. Tannin was a little much on the finish but not enough to ruin the experience or anything. I gave this one 3 Corkscrews based on the good value and taste at $5.99/bottle. I wouldn't pay $15/bottle for this, but in the $6-9 range you can't go wrong. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!


Thursday, 4/12, Fresno & Yosemite, CA
What a great day! After a final half day of training, a group of about 8 of us headed north to Yosemite National Park. My first visit there and it was definitely breathtaking. After traversing around the park for an hour or so, we decided to hike up to the top of Vernal Falls, a 1 1/2 mile hike, straight up to falls crashing down several hundred feet below. Going up was not bad though all of us worked up quite a sweat, but coming down is another story. About half way down each of us could feel the front thigh muscles starting to get a little shaky and all of us are in pretty decent shape. I took a ton of pictures and as soon as I get them transferred to a CD, then to my computer, I'll post several of them in a future posting. While there I picked up a bottle of a 2000 Silver Fox Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon which is produced right outside of the main entrance to Yosemite. I'll uncork that in the near future and post my review. Until next time! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!


Monday, 3/19, Little Rock, AR

A somewhat hectic day but fortunately I was outside all day which allowed me to enjoy the 78 degree day we had. I got home early to relieve #1 as she is my little girl's Brownie Mom and this afternoon was their monthly get together. A late dinner of roast that had been swimming in the crock pot all day was enjoyed with a 2004 Bohemian Highway Cabernet Sauvignon. Now if you saw my review of their Chardonnay from a few weeks ago you know that I loved it. Although I'm not as crazy about the Cab as I was the Chardonnay, this is still a very nice wine. Lots of dark cherry and chocolate on the nose with a dark scarlet red color in the glass. The cherry and chocolate that was on the nose also exhibited itself on the tongue. Great finish and just the right balance of tannin. These Bohemian Highway people have got this wine making thing down! And they don't charge an arm and a leg. In fact, I got this one for $3.99/bottle and like the Chardonnay I didn't expect a whole lot at that price point but was once again proven wrong. I gave this one 4 Corkscrews for drinkability and overall value. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!


Sunday, 3/18, Little Rock and Wye Mtn, AR

Somewhat lazy day, especially this morning as the kids spent the night with the grandparents and weren't on the prowl at 7:30 this morning looking for breakfast. An afternoon trip was taken to Wye Mountain where there is a huge field of daffodils that people from all over come to look at. No really! Tonight's reviewed wine is an Australian from a winery I've had good luck with before although I had never tried anything in a red from them. This one had a very deep, rich, ruby hue with a nose of cherries and allspice. On the tongue I had to let it linger for several seconds as I was picking up something that tasted almost carbonated. It finally came to me that there is a heavy mint flavor along with the cherry that was picked up in the nose. The finish was not as smooth as I normally like and the tannins seemed a little over done and not as soft as I would have liked. I gave this one 3 Corkscrews as the taste was okay but at the $3.99/bottle I paid the value was excellent. I couldn't give it 4 as the taste was really nothing that blew me away but at that price I had no problem giving it 3. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!

Friday 2/2: Great Dinner & 2005 RODNEY STRONG PINOT NOIR

Friday morning brought a change in our weather although early in the a.m. the streets were still a little icy. Nice, uneventful day at the office led into a somewhat busy weekend. #1 and I had been trying to get together with a couple we met soon after moving to The Rock and were finally able to tonight. We had a new babysitter who actually lives right behind us and the kids really liked her so I'm sure we'll use her again. We started our night off with our friends with some nice conversation at the house over a smooth glass of 05 Quail Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon. I've written about this wine before so you know my thoughts on it. Everyone whose been over that I've poured a glass for really enjoys it. After a little small talk and the obligatory tour of the new house, we headed over to Chenal Country Club.
Now we've made a lot of friends since moving to Little Rock, many who belong to this club and have tried to get us to join, but we've been resistant figuring that we weren't "country club" people to borrow a line similar to one Ben Stiller delivered in "Flirting with Disaster" when he was accused by a bed and breakfast owner of not being a "B & B" person. See that if you haven't but I digress. We sat in the lounge area of the club next to a crackling fireplace and were promptly waited on. I ordered a glass of the 05 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir which was so good I followed up with a second glass over dinner. Full of deep, rich, intense fruit with a medium body and excellent finish. I've tried different Rodney Strong wines over the years and don't think that I've ever been disappointed but this one was exceptionally good. Dinner was probably one of the best meals we've had out since moving to Little Rock. The dining room is extremely cozy, wait staff top-notch and the conversation ranged from children to travel to wine to whatever came to mind. I had a stuffed pork chop with some type of light, golden cream sauce that I was disappointed came to an end with my last bite. #1 and everyone else had an orange roughy special that was also excellent. Dessert brought a perfectly prepared creme' brulee that was one of the best I've had in some time. Just an excellent night overall and we look forward to going out with this couple again in the very near future. We may also look into joining the club with a social membership which provides everything with the exception of golf which I've cut back on considerably since moving to this warmer weather climate. I would never have imagined that I finally move to a place where I can pretty much play golf year round and then don't take advantage of it. Maybe in the coming years. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often!


Thursday brought a return to the office and the inevitable day spent catching up on everything that occurred while I was gone. Somewhat uneventful but had a nice, relaxing evening with a nice glass of 2005 Quail Ridge Cabernet. I let this one breathe for about 30 minutes and discovered a lot of blackberry and currant flavors that I didn't taste the last time I tried this. Actually I was more in the mood for a nice Chardonnay but our wine cooler was fresh out of any white graped varietals.
Friday brought another hectic day with meetings, field work and a run to Cabot just before the traffic got too bad. Stopped by T's place and stocked up with a case of a variety of whites, Chardonnays, Pinto Gris, Sauvignon's primarily. Grabbed a couple more bottles of the Seghesio Barbera just because it is so damn good. I got home and chilled everything I had just bought and opened up a wonderful bottle of Montinore Estate Pinot Gris 2005. This was more of a splurge bottle, celebrate the weekend, even though at $11.99 a bottle it's not really at the cost level of a true splurge! This one had great citrus and fruit aromas with flavors of apples, lemons and maybe a little roasted nut swirling on the tongue. Highly, highly recommend! Capped off the night with a great run of cards during the monthly game and was well in the plus column for the night. Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often!