Friday, February 23, 2018

2014 Pepper Bridge Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Friday!  It's been a busy week, and in case you haven't heard, we've had some flooding issues here in Elkhart over the past week, with all the two feet of snow melting, combined with another few inches of rain.  Tomorrow I am heading over to a friend's to help him start the clean up efforts on his house, which still has 6" of water in the basement, but tonight there's time for wine!  I've opened a bottle of 2014 Pepper Bridge Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (83%), Merlot (9%), Malbec (4%), Cabernet Franc (2%) and Petit Verdot (2%), all from the Seven Hills, Octave, Pepper Bridge and Waliser Vineyards.  So let's see how this one tastes!

In color, the wine is a deep, inky consistency with garnet along the edges.  The nose is a rush of ripe black fruit, cassis and hints of strawberry and mint.  The taste envelops the palate with blueberry, blackberry and tart cherry that eases into some subtle exotic spice notes midpalate.  The tannins are nicely integrated, providing for a luxurious and very dry finish that seem to last a minute or more.  This is a wonderfully structured, old-world style of Cabernet that's just perfect for a relaxing evening.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, it's one of the best Cabernets of 2018 so far (yes, I know it's still early).  This is a wine that would pair well with a nice steak, venison or a hearty winter stew, but also would go well with a wild salmon.  Tonight I'm enjoying this wine with a rare grilled porterhouse, grilled asparagus and a big baked potato.  Cheers!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2015 Forgeron Zinfandel

Happy Taco Tuesday!  I bet you'll never guess what's for dinner tonight, but about the wine to pair it with... well tonight I've decided to open a bottle of a perennial favorite Zinfandel, the 2015 Forgeron Cellars Zinfandel.  This wine is produced from 100% Zinfandel sourced from the Alder Ridge Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.  I've read a little about Zinfandel and how the large clusters of grapes tend to ripen unevenly, making this a challenging wine to make well, but when it's done right it's hard to resist!

This wine is a lovely deep garnet color in the glass.  The nose presents aromas of tobacco, licorice, mocha and smoke, just what you'd expect.  The taste is a rush of ripe black fruit, with undertones of fig and smoke that transitions effortlessly to some notes of mocha and spicy clove and white pepper midpalate.  The tannins are nicely structured, providing for a wonderfully long and smooth dry finish with a reprise of tartness at the end.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's one of my favorite Zinfandel's year in and year out.  And it's not your typically jammy Zinfandel, but more elevated.  This wine would pair so well with barbecue, pizza or tacos, which is what I'm having tonight, wonderfully blackened walleye for fish tacos with black beans and edamame corn salsa, all on my new taco plates!  Cheers!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

2013 Angel's Landing Napa Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Sunday!  I've had my usual Sunday afternoon of grocery shopping and laundry, so now it's time to have a bit of relaxation for the evening.  And for that I'm opening a bottle I stumbled upon in the cellar last week, the 2013 Angel's Landing Napa Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  I can't recall where I got this bottle, but I figured with a decent vintage and a Napa Cabernet, it's likely to pair well with Sunday dinner, so let's see what it has to offer!

The wine is a deep inky color, with bright ruby along the edges, just as you'd expect for a Cabernet.  The nose is chock full of blackberry, prune and currant with earthy undertones of leather and green grass.  The taste is quite fruit forward, with a rush of blueberry and black raspberry that transitions nicely to some earthy mineral notes midpalate.  The tannins are quite firm, adding some sharpness to the long and exceptionally dry finish that seems to last a minute or more.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's a really nice Napa Cabernet, but the finish could be smoother in my view.  This wine is practically begging to be paired with a nice steak, and tonight is its lucky night, as I'm enjoying this wine with a rare grilled prime New York Strip along with grilled asparagus and a baked potato with sour cream and scallions.  Cheers!