Saturday, September 27, 2014

2012 Sullivan Vineyards Rutherford Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Wow, where has summer gone?  I spent much of the day working out in the yard and things are dying, leaves are falling and it seems as though we'll be in the middle of winter before you know it!  At least it was sunny and about 80 degrees today, so it felt like summer and I decided to have a cookout with a nice bottle of 2012 Sullivan Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon.  Now I've been hearing so much about the quality of the 2012 Napa Valley vintage, I decided to open a bottle and see what all the fuss is about (yes I know it's still quite young, but rest assured I have more bottles to cellar!).

The wine is a lovely ruby color in the glass with a dark indigo towards the center, classic Cabernet.  The nose is not at all what I expected, rather than a blast of fruit like so many Cabernets today, this one had aromas of plum, raisin and graphite, overlaid with some notes of vanilla.  The taste is quite nice, very warm and approachable, some nice fruit up front, raspberries, currant and cassis, which transition to some lovely mineral notes midpalate.  The tannins are young but still nicely structured, providing a nice foundation for a long, dry finish that surprises at the end with a bit of residual fruit than lingers on your palate.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, it's a very nice example of a classic Napa Valley Cabernet, at a decent price (I bought this one from Wines Till Sold Out for just $30).  Tonight I am enjoying this wine out on the patio with a rare Angus ribeye, some garlic mashed potatoes and a classic wedge salad with tomatoes, bacon and bleu cheese.  Here's to summer!

Friday, September 26, 2014

2011 Three Rivers Winery Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

TGIF!  The is a great Friday as it marks the end of the two busiest weeks of the year for me at work!  Whew!  So tonight I think I deserve a break, with a big ol' steak and a nice bottle of vino, so tonight I've selected a Cabernet from a familiar Washington producer that was a very popular wine club selection this month at work, the 2011 Three Rivers Winery Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon!

The wine is a beautiful rich ruby color in the glass with a bit of opacity at the center.  The nose is a lovely combination of vanilla bean, leather, blackberry and a hint of graphite.  The taste is a modest bit of fruit up front, some blackberry and plum, but very subtle, which transitions to some lovely winter spice notes midpalate, a bit of nutmeg and vanilla which brings my mind right to Christmas time.  The finish is very nice, with a strong minerality, dusty limestone and some basalt that intermingle with some very well integrated tannins, providing for a long, smooth and exceptionally dry finish.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's solid and a great value at $17!  This is definitely not the fruit bomb sort of Cabernet that seems so prevalent today, but is wonderfully structured and complex.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a rare grilled porterhouse, baked potato and some steamed green beans that I bought fresh from an Amish family.  Cheers!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2012 Woodward Canyon Estate Dolcetto

Well, it's a thunder stormy Saturday, but at least I finished the yard work and mowing before the rain started falling!  So now it's time to relax with a glass of wine, and tonight it's the 2012 Woodward Canyon Estate Dolcetto, a northern Italian varietal from one of my favorite wineries in Walla Walla, Washington.  Now I'll admit this wine is harder to come by now that I'm in Indiana, but thankfully despite the shipping restrictions I can have this wine shipped to a friend in Michigan so I can still enjoy it!

The wine is a deep ruby in the glass, with great color and legs.  The nose is just terrific, with rich aromas of leather, ripe berries and mineral notes.  The taste is lovely, with a blast of fresh fruit at the outset, strawberries, blackberries and cherries, which effortlessly transition to some notes of dusty limestone, cocoa powder and warm spice notes.  The finish is lovely, with a second round of ripe fruit notes to accompany the long, dry, velvety finish.  A very pleasant wine that seems to have me begging for more!

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8.5 with opportunity to improve with a little time in the cellar.  This would be a great wine to sip on the patio (as I was doing earlier), or to pair with a broad variety of dishes. For tonight's pairing I'm going a little off the reservation and enjoying this one with some snow crab legs, a baked potato and some haricots verts almondine.  The fruit and tartness of this wine is a perfect foil for the richness of the crab, even though it's not customary to pair a red wine with seafood!  Cheers!