Friday, August 15, 2014

2012 Castlebank "Vivian's Vineyard" Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Friday everyone!  And of course to start the weekend we should enjoy a nice bottle of wine, and tonight I'm having a bottle of 2012 Castlebank "Vivian's Vineyard" Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a bottle that I just received today from the fine folks at Wines Till Sold Out.

The wine is a nice deep ruby in the glass and the nose is a rich, jammy combination of raspberries, blackberries and cherry cola with some interesting floral notes and vanilla over the top.  The taste is quite nice, but somewhat surprising as the nose tricked my brain into expecting somewhat more of a jammy sort of Zinfandel type wine but this was nothing of the sort.  There was good fruit at the outset but it quickly transitioned into some wonderful mineral and spice notes, dusty limestone and smoky oak with a hint of white pepper.  The finish was sublime, as some wonderful cherry cola notes mingled with the firm but well integrated tannins to provide for a long smooth and very dry finish that had me wanting more.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's a very solid Cabernet at an absolutely fantastic value at about $14!  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a rather non-traditional pairing, but still a classic summer supper of jalapeno brats with some fresh grilled corn on the cob and fresh sliced tomatoes.  The wine stands up nicely to the rich spiciness of the sausage but brings out the freshness of the vegetables.  It would also be great with a big ol' steak or some hearty pasta dishes.  Cheers!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

2010 Revelry Columbia Valley Merlot

Ahhh...a relaxing summer Sunday evening, all the chores are done, dinner is started and it's time to open up a bottle of wine to cap off the evening.  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of 2010 Revelry Columbia Valley Merlot.  This is a new one for me, a winery based in Walla Walla that I'm really not very familiar with, but one which I found at my local wine store for a reasonable price.

The wine is a bright ruby in the glass with great clarity, but somewhat lighter than a typical Merlot.  The nose is somewhat fruity, with nice aromas of blueberries and cassis, dusty granite and a hint of toasted oak.  The taste starts off strong, with a blast of fresh berries, blueberries and cherries, which transitions to some earthy notes of black truffle and oak midpalate.  The finish is quite nice, with nicely integrated tannins supporting a velvety, smooth dry finish that seems to be short, but lingers for quite a while.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it's a very nice Merlot that would be perfect for everyday drinking as I'm doing tonight, particularly at the value price of $15 that I paid.  The wine seems food friendly and would pair with a variety of dishes, from steaks to pizza.  Tonight I am enjoying this with some heirloom tomato and basil ravioli in a four cheese creamy grape tomato alfredo, perhaps an odd choice for summer, but I had a craving!  Salut!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

2011 Slingshot Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

It's been a busy day, what with farmers' markets and tractor shows, life in the country can get really busy!  So tonight I've settled in with a new bottle of wine that I just got last week, in fact this was my first order based on an offer I received from, and I saw it was a 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet at a great price, so how could I pass it up?  So I ordered half a case and am enjoying the first bottle this evening.

The wine is a dark ruby in the glass, a classic Cabernet color.  The nose, I must admit was surprising.  It was a lovely combination of black fruit, blackberry and black cherry intermingled with a bit of anise, black pepper and a hint of mint.  The taste was a blast of rich jammy fruit, much more like a Lodi Zinfandel than a Napa Cabernet, but that gracefully transitioned to some nice warm spice notes along with a bit of dusty limestone midpalate.  The finish was quite nice, as the spice, vanilla and fruit made for a complex bit of flavor as the well structured tannins provided for a velvety, smooth, dry finish.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it's a great and versatile wine at a value price as I paid only $13!  The nice thing about this wine is that at some moments it feels like a nice Napa Valley Cabernet, which makes it great to pair with a nice rare porterhouse topped with grilled leeks and red peppers as I'm doing tonight.  But it also has that secret identity that seems more like a Zinfandel, which would make it great to pair with barbecue or a variety of classic summer fare.  A surprisingly nice and versatile wine, cheers!