Sunday, April 20, 2014

2010 Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Easter!  It's been an absolutely beautiful Easter in northern Indiana, with sunny skies, flowers blooming and birds singing and a temperature in the low 70s, a perfect day!  So to celebrate I've decided to open a bottle (technically a half bottle) of 2010 Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon.  For those unfamiliar, the artist series was started with the 1992 vintage with a painting by a Northwest artist that will then be featured on the label for that year's vintage.  The 2010 is the 19th edition of the artist series and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%), Merlot (7%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petit Verdot (4%) with grapes sourced from a variety of great Washington vineyards including Champoux (55%), Woodward Canyon Estate (24%), Sagemoor (17%) and Weinbau (4%).

The wine itself is a lovely deep, inky purple at the center that melds into a bright ruby along the edges.  The nose just seems to grab you by the collar and really let's you know that you're about to sip something truly sublime, with rich black fruit notes, leather and cedar all dancing in your mind.  The taste is wonderfully complex, with some bright fruit at the outset, blackberry, cassis that transitions effortlessly to some warm spice notes of black pepper and dried herbs.  The finish is divine, as the tannins are nicely structured and integrated to support a wonderfully complex finish that seems to last forever.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's just a great example of some of the best Cabernets being produced in the Columbia Valley today, but it's definitely a special occasion sort of wine as this half bottle was $26 even with the 10% case discount, but still worth every penny!  Later I might pair this with some dinner, but for now I'm just enjoying this glass out on the deck as the sun is just starting to settle in the west.  A perfect end to a beautiful day!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

2012 Nelms Road Cabernet Sauvignon

Well, it finally feels like spring, even though I woke up to a covering of an inch of snow last week, today it's sunny and warm and I feel like grilling a steak!  And what's better with steak than a lovely Cabernet Sauvignon?  That was a rhetorical question, as tonight I've opened up a bottle of 2012 Nelms Road Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the second label from Woodward Canyon winery in Lowden, Washington.  Now Woodward Canyon makes some truly beautiful wines, like their Artist Series Cabernet, which I've enjoyed from Walla Walla to Tampa Bay, but thankfully they also produce great wine under their more affordable Nelms Road label, so I can enjoy a bottle with less financial guilt!

The color of this wine is a gorgeous ruby red with a lovely brightness along the edges.  The nose is sublime, with notes of ripe dark fruit throughout, blackberries and currant over hints of dark chocolate and cherry cola.  The taste is wonderful, warm and bright, it almost feels like your tasting a late summer day just before harvest.  The lovely berry fruit lingers through the midpalate until you begin to taste some coarse minerality of dusty limestone.  The finish is long and lush, as the elegantly structured tannins provide a foundation for a finish that seems to last a minute or more.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's a great everyday drinking Cabernet at a price that makes it affordable for everyday.  The regular price is $25, but since I ordered this with a case I received an extra 10% discount, so I'd be hard pressed to find a nicer Cabernet for only $22.50!  Tonight I'll be enjoying this wine with a lovely rare grilled ribeye, along with some oven roasted red potatoes and some grilled leeks, baby candy stripe beets and asparagus.  The wine will be perfect with a nicely charred steak, but first, I think I might enjoy the early evening on the patio finishing this glass!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

2010 Salvatore Principe Blue Groove Zinfandel

So tonight I'm having my Easter dinner a week early, so what goes better with glazed ham than a nice Lodi Zinfandel?  I can't think of anything, so tonight I've opened a bottle of 2010 Salvatore Principe Blue Groove Signature Series Zinfandel that I bought yesterday at one of my old time favorite wine stores, G.B. Russo's in Grand Rapids.

The wine is a lovely deep purple color in the glass, classic Zin.  The nose is a marvelous, jammy combination of black plums, raisins and a hint of leather and limestone.  The taste is a wonderful  blast of fruit, plums, raisins, blackberries and cassis that lasts for a few seconds and then transitions to some herb notes of black pepper, thyme and cocoa powder.  The finish is lovely, with some bold tannins supporting a long, silky finish that seems to last a minute or more.  A classic Lodi Zinfandel, rich, fruity and somewhat rustic.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, as it's a very nice example of a quality Zinfandel, but it was also a terrific value at just $7!  I wanted to buy a case, but there were only three bottles left, so I bought those.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with my early Easter dinner, of glazed ham, some red hasselback potatoes (thanks for the recipe Epicurious! Red Hasselback Potato Recipe at Epicurious) and the ubiquitous green bean casserole!  The wine makes such a great compliment to meats like ham, but it would also be great with a steak or pizza.  Cheers!