Friday, October 24, 2014

2011 Encantado Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Friday!  It's been a long week and I just need to relax a bit and I figure I deserve it, after all I went to the gym after work and now that I'm home I should be able to enjoy a nice glass of wine before dinner.  Tonight it's the 2011 Encantado Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, and for those who recall my review of the 2012 Encantado Cabernet Sauvignon that night I totally blew off the gym, so I am getting more disciplined at least!

The wine is a deep ruby in the glass with nice legs.  The nose is classic Cabernet, with rich black and red fruit notes along with some nice toasted oak and spice notes.  The taste is lusciously fruit forward, with blackberry and plum bursting forth, then a smooth transition to some warm spice notes of vanilla, cocoa powder and a hint of anise.  The tannins are well integrated and provide a nice backbone for the long, dry and velvety finish that seems to last until you take another sip.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's drinking quite nicely now, but could definitely mature over time, and at $25 from Wines Till Sold Out, I'm having a tough time deciding which of these wines I like better!  Tonight I am enjoying this with a simple meal of grilled New York Strip, some steamed jasmine rice and some asparagus, as this Cabernet is a perfect grilled steak sort of wine.  Cheers!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2011 Fontanafredda Nebbiolo

Well, it's been a busy week with some travel and a lot of work, but thankfully the week is winding down so we may as well enjoy a nice bottle of wine with Thursday dinner.  Tonight, I've decided to open a bottle of 2011 Fontanafredda Nebbiolo, a wine made from the same grape that gives the lovely Barolo wines of the Piedmont their fantastic, earthy character.

The wine has a bright ruby color in the glass with great clarity.  The nose is remarkable in its young complexity with aromas of tar, licorice, dried flowers and an almost cotton candy note.  The taste is quite nice, with notes of berries and plum that transition to some earthy notes of peat midpalate.  The finish is quite pleasant as the young, yet very well structured tannins support a long, dry and velvety finish that lingers.  A pleasant wine today that, given the character of the grape, will likely improve with some time in the bottle.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's a pleasant drinking wine and solid example of the varietal, but it was screaming bargain as well!  I bought this one about six months ago from Wines Till Sold Out for only $10!  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a traditional Italian dinner of spinach and ricotta ravioli with some spicy marinara and Italian sausage.  The earthy flavors are just the perfect foil to the spicy acidity of the sauce.  Tutti a tavola a mangiare!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

2009 Mansion Creek Cellars Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon

Well it's a bit of a rainy Saturday in October, perfect weather for football and a big red wine like a Cabernet!  Today I ran a lot of errands ahead of a short trip to Canada, so I figure I deserve to open something nice for dinner.  So tonight I've opened a bottle that I picked up on my last trip to Walla Walla about 18 months ago, the 2009 Mansion Creek Cellars Waldheim Cabernet Sauvignon!

The wine is a beautiful inky black and ruby color in the glass.  The nose is quite nice, a bit of ripe fruit, blackberries and plum, with some lovely herb notes, that make for a very interesting combination of sweet and tart aromas.  The taste is quite nice, we get a blast of fruit and tart, it really does remind me of SweeTARTS candy, which transitions nicely to some smoky mineral notes midpalate.  The tannins are very nicely structured, providing a velvety, long dry finish that seems to last more than a minute.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, it's really a very nice example of a Walla Walla Cabernet at a modest price (I think this one was about $32 when I bought it).  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with the monster cowboy cut ribeye you see above, along with some wild rice and fresh steamed asparagus.  This is a great wine with a big ol' steak, the fruit and mineral notes just make a great balance with charred beef.  Cheers!