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!

Friday, October 17, 2014

2012 Dois Irmaos Winery Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Happy Friday!  I worked a little late tonight and just got back from the gym, so I figure I've earned a glass of wine or two, and for tonight I've decided to open a bottle of 2012 Dois Irmaos Winery Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that I just received today from Wines Till Sold Out!  Now those who know me realize that I'm not a huge Pinot fan, even though I lived in the Raleigh Hills area of Portland in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but there are always opportunities to try a Pinot and see if I like it.  You see, I was introduced to red wine through Bordeaux rather than Burgundy, so my tastes lean much more towards Cabernet and Merlot than Pinot, but since this was billed as a Pinot for Cab lovers I figured I'd give it a shot.

The wine is a little darker in the glass than a typical Pinot, with a nice violet color and great clarity.  The nose is fairly classic Pinot, with some tart fruit notes of cherry and a hint of strawberry amid the slightest hints of green grass and tar.  The taste is rather pleasant with great fruit up front, strawberry, tart cherry and plum that transitions to some nice smoky mineral notes midpalate.  The tannins though young support a long, lovely finish with some great acidity.  Though certainly a far cry from Cabernet, this wine is really quite pleasant.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it's very nicely structure and it was a great value at just $16!  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with the classic pairing of cedar planked wild Alaskan sockeye filet, some wild mushroom risotto and some steamed asparagus.  The acidity in the wine really cuts through the richness of the salmon and risotto, providing the perfect foil.  Cheers!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

2012 Canoe Ridge Vineyards The Expedition Cabernet Sauvignon

Well I am sure glad the world didn't end with the Mayan calendar, as there are a number of really nice 2012 vintage wines coming out now that we all would have missed!  Tonight's is one such vintage, the 2012 Canoe Ridge Vineyards "The Expedition" Cabernet Sauvignon from the Horse Heaven Hills.  I've tried a few different wines from Canoe Ridge, and they seldom disappoint, so we'll see how this one goes.

The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass, certainly appropriate for a Cabernet from the Columbia Valley.  The nose is quite pleasant with some lovely floral notes atop some rich, ripe fruit notes of plum and red currant and just a bit of smokiness.  The taste is really quite nice, very fruit forward, with flavors of ripe raspberry, blackberry and currant that blast into your psyche.  The rich fruit transitions nicely to some smoky, mineral notes midpalate.  The tannins are remarkably well developed for a wine this young, supporting a long, smooth, very dry finish.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's really drinking well and it was a terrific bargain as I found this one at G.B. Russo's in Grand Rapids for just $15!  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a fall classic dinner of grilled teriyaki pork tenderloin with some cheddar bacon potato casserole and some steamed green beans.  The sweet ripe fruit in this wine is just perfect with a rich pork dish while the acidity offers a nice balance to the cheesy potato casserole, man I have to eat!  Cheers!