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California Cabernet done well. Deep purple, with a bit of translucency. Good nose, blackberries, blueberries, cassis, forest floor. The taste adds pencil lead to the rest, as well as a bit of spice, black licorice maybe. Intense fruit, great depth, good concentration of flavors. Terrific balance, well made, though it's high in alcohol for a Cab at 15.4% you can't tell. It's got medium length of finish, 20 to 30 seconds, lingering with mouth watering components. Great wine if you find it at the right price. As per usual, I found it at The Wine House in Manlius.
Rodney Strong's website: http://www.rodneystrong.com/
The data sheet for the wine: http://www.rodneystrong.com/files/Tech%20Sheets/2006_Rockaway_TechSheet.pdf
Wine Spectator liked it enough to make it a wine of the day last year: http://www.winespectator.com/dailypicks/show/date/2010-02-16/dwpid/6840
A blend from Australia, 60% grenache, 20% mataro and 20% shiraz, very reminiscent of southern France GSM blends. Dark, deep red. Earthy, dark red fruit, a bit of spice on the nose. Mid-weight on the palate, it's exceptionally well balanced. Nothing bitter, no intrusive tannins, alcohol is at a pleasant level. Spice, black fruit, lingering dark cherry, and a bit of acidity on the front of the tongue. It's definitely a wine that would pair well with a steak! About $35 on the shelf in upstate NY, as per usual at The Wine House in Manlius.
Torbreck's collection of The Steading reviews http://www.torbreck.com/TheWines/TheSteading/TheWineAdvocate/tabid/169/Default.aspx
Some friends brought a bottle of the Wattle Creek for New Years, she found it while visiting Ghiradelli in San Francisco, and they shared it with us. Terrific depth of purple and red, great nose with black fruit, spice, and great Malbec flavors.The flavors followed the nose, with blackberry, black currants, licorice, and some smokiness. Good flavors, good intensity, and a long finish. This is the first California Malbec that I've had, and it was excellent.
Wattle Creek's website: http://shop.wattlecreek.com/home.php
A good friend brought a bottle of this amazing Schaefer Auslese to share last night. Golden color. Incredibly rich nose, floral, tropical fruits, pineapple in particular. The taste was beautiful, nice acidity, rich, rich fruit and the mouth feel was interestingly balanced between fruit, peaches, nectarines, apples, some wood spice components. Crisp, long finish.
Image of Snowden Vineyards via Snooth
The Snowden Ranch Cabernet 2008 is a challenging wine. I want to love this wine, and the 2008 is very good. But it isn't the 2007, which was perhaps one of the finest California Cabs at a reasonable price. But this is about the 2008 not the 2007, so on with that!
It's got good fruit on the nose, currants, dark fruits, almost a Cab Franc darkness (not surprising - they do Cab Franc). It's dark purple, absolutely opaque. The fruit on the palate is terrific blackberry, sweet tannins, a tiny bit of oak, excellent balance, but not complex at all. It's simple wine, but tasty, sweet, fruit forward, well balanced, and nice.
Regardless of the terrific wine that's in this bottle, I pine for the 2007 vintage. Amazing wines, Parker called it as a fabulous winery, fabulous vineyard, in and excellent location in the Napa Valley. Snowden says this wine should be drunk young, and I agree. About $40.
Snowden's page: http://www.snowdenvineyards.com/ourWines-lv.htm
Good California Cab from a stellar vintage. Rich nose, black fruit. Very sweet fruit on the palate, black cherry, blackberry, cassis. The oak is there, tannins well integrated, terrific balance, nothing out of place. It's a bit less complex than some other California cabs. Very enjoyable way to have fruit from vineyards that have contributed to other well-known Oakville Cabs prior to their beginning their own winemaking. About $70.
On their history "As a component of the original To Kalon Vineyard wines, the Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet and Opus One wines, fruit from the Detert vineyard site has been a component of the valley's most prestigious cuvees since the history of winegrowing in Napa Valley began."
Vineyard site: http://www.detert.com/index.html
Release notes: http://www.detert.com/wines/index.html
Deep, dark opaque purple. Backberries, cassis, dark fruits. Herbs. Old world, but plenty of fruit. Nice body, tannins pretty present, lots of wood influence. Good Tuscan cab, but other years might be better. Or a few more years might be needed. About $70 at The Wine House. The closing wine for the tasting.
The Wine House has a terrific Italian selection, and the sommelier, Matt, knows the Italian portfolio inside and out.
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Very interesting bottle of wine - mostly Carignan which is pretty uncommon as a primary wine, usually smaller percentages as a blending grape. It was a deep, dark purple, had dried fruit, figs, plum and more on the nose, cooking herbs, nicely balanced, lots of dark fruit. It was medium weight, and went well with charcuterie. About $50.