Tag Archive | "california"

2007 CC Wines Cabernet Sauvignon – Review

By Duane Pemberton

CC Wines is a joint venture between famous Sommelier, Richard Betts and Castle Brands – his motto’s are: “I will not drink bad wine” and “wine should be a grocery, not a luxury”. It’s clear to me, after spending time with both the cab, that those concepts have carried through into the wine.

This is a stunning cab in that it’s from Napa – which isn’t cheap these days – and destroys many other Napa-area cabs I’ve had for a fraction of the cost.

Technical Data:

  • VA: .091
  • pH: 3.80
  • TA: .62
  • RS: .07
  • Alc: 15.58%
  • Price: $20-$25

Nose: If you took some rainier cherries, wrapped them up in a dirty old cigar wrapper and found a way to smoke it – that’s what this nose reminds me of. Layers of cherry, chocolate, vanilla and modeling clay.

Taste: Hello smoothness, how fond I am of thee – okay, this is a serious cab and opens up even better after some decant time. The tannin structure is right on the money as is the mid palate and finish. This – to me – this what good California Cab is all about. The crazy thing is, that 15.58 is a bit on the higher side for me, but the fruit does a great job of masking some of the heat ans comes off very well balanced. Complexity, smoothness and a finish that simply is BEGGING you to have a steak with it.

My only real concern with this wine is the misleading pricing from CCWines – they clam it’s $20, however, when you search the online merchants from its website, the cheapest this cab sells for is $23. When I asked CC about this, they claimed that they have no control over what the retailers ultimately sell it for. I know this may seem like I’m splitting hairs but I feel I have an obligation to point out areas that I feel could be potentially misleading.

Having said all that, this wine is still well worth it, even at $25 .

 

W.E.P. Rating: 120%


On the web: http://www.drinkcc.com

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wines, ReviewsComments (0)

Review: XYZin 10 and 50

XYZin is an arm of Ascentia wine estates in California and as its name implies, it aims to be the final word in Zinfandel. Its  winemaker, Ondine Chattan, grew-up in Marin country so she’s been around the wine regions of that area most of her life. As one can tell from the way XYZin names its Zinfandels, one of the things it does is to showcase a span of history of what young-to-old vines can do in the bottle and ultimately, your glass.

In this review, we take a look at their 2007 “10″ and 2006 “50″ – made with 10yr old vines and 50yr old vines respectively.

2007 10 – W.E.P. Rating: 60%

Technical Data:

  • Wine Type:Red Wine
  • Varietal:Zinfandel
  • Appellation:California
  • Harvest Date:September 4th – October 15th, 2007
  • Acid:5.8g/L
  • PH:3.70
  • Alcohol %:14.2
  • Price: $16

Nose: bright cherries like cherry-flavored kool-aid action as well on the nose – a little fake-smelling. I also get subtlties of rose petal.

Taste: Tightly-woven, young tannins give way to a fruit-bomb with some bits of cherry/raspberry jam and white pepper. A finish that’s too short with tannins that are completely out of control and fruit that tastes too fake. Quite frankly, at $16, there are far better zins out there but I do appreciate the relatively low alcohol for a Zin as it helps to create a more balanced finish.

2006 50 - W.E.P. Rating: 70%

Technical Data:

  • Wine Type:Red Wine
  • Varietal:Zinfandel
  • Appellation:Russian River Valley
  • Acid:5.9 g/L
  • PH:3.7
  • Aging:Aged 15 months in French Oak
  • Residual Sugar:Dry
  • Alcohol %:14.3%
  • Price: $35

Nose: Bigtime raspberry/blackberry jam with nice hints of plum-sauce,  white pepper and euchaliptus and rhubarb.

Taste: Bright raspberries topped over rhubarb pie - add in hints of pepper and you have the front-end palate of this wine. I’m also getting some fruity-pebbles action along with red vines licorice. A decently long finish resounds with a lace of leather, vanilla, and white pepper, however, it’s doesn’t have near the overall mouthfeel and pizzaz a wine of its price range should have in my opinion. To me, this is a Zin that should be more appropraitely priced at $20-$25 to make it more competitive to what else is out there.

Winey Website: www.xyzinwines.com

Posted in California Wines, Reviews, ZinfandelComments (0)

2006 Ehlers Cab and Merlot

Ehlers Estate Winery, in St. Helena California, has been producing since the year 2000 and is the only non-profit winery I’m aware of – anywhere. 100% of its proceeds go into cardiovascular research. The reason for this is because its founder, Jean Leduqa, was a longtime sufferer of heart disease – hence why his wife, Sylviane, started a foundation in her husband’s name to aid in that type of R&D. So not only are you helping your own heart with a hearty glass of red wine, you can also know your business with Ehlers goes to help those around the world as well.

In this tasting, I’m looking at the 2006 releases of its Cab and Merlot – both of which are priced at $45. I know that’s on the higher-end of pricing for most folks in today’s economy, but is actually pretty “normal” for Napa-pricing – so I hope these prove to rock me for those prices.

2006 Merlot St. Helena: W.E.P. Rating: 90%

  • Vintage: 2006
  • Varietal: Merlot
  • Final Blend: 79% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot Fruit
  • Source: 100% estate grown Farming: California Certified Organic Farmer 
  • Harvest Date: Sept. 26 – Oct. 12, 2006
  • Acid: 5.7g/L TA
  • PH: 3.74 pH
  • Aging: 18 months in oak, 85% French oak, 40% new
  • Bottling Date: June 16 – 17, 2008
  • Brix at harvest: 25
  • Price: $45

Nose: dark chocolate, tobacco, green onion, blackberry, black cherry, mildewy V8 juice mixed with cocoa-cola blows off after awhile to a nice cedar-laden forest floor, vanilla and toasted marshmellows.

Taste: Think of this wine as a vanilla-laced piece of dark chocolate that’s smothered in blackberry and blueberry jam then topped with some cedar chips and funk – sittin’ there, looking you straight in the eyeballs, just screaming at you to eat it. The finish on this wine lasts for weeks and continues to provide a good jolt of reach-around.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena: W.E.P. Rating: 90%

  • Vintage: 2006
  • Final Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc 
  • Fruit Source: 100% estate grown Farming: California 
  • Appellation: St. Helena
  • Harvest Date: October 9 – 26, 2006
  • Sugar: 18 months in oak, 100% French oak, 65% new
  • Acid: 6.1g/L TA
  • PH: 3.61pH
  • Brix at Harvest: 25.2
  • Bottling Date: June 16 – 17, 2008
  • Alcohol %: 14.1% alcohol by volume
  • Price: $45

Nose: “Forest-funk” combined with classic cherry, rose petal, plum and raspberry. A bit of cola action on the nose as well. I’m also picking up some spice as well. 

Taste: Black pepper, dark cherries, hints of raspberry and spice. I’m also get some chocolate, big league chew, eucaliptus and tobacco. A bit of caramel and tar action too on the back of the palate. this is a really good cab that’d rock the ball right out of the park when paired with a pan-seared, pepper-crusted steak. The finish is like the settled-down middle-aged person that knows who he/she is and where they’re going in life – very solid. 

Winery website: www.ehlersestate.com

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wines, Merlot, ReviewsComments (0)