Wine Club III

This case arrived last spring, so I decided I’d better post my findings before the spring 2011 case arrives. This post was supposed to go up Friday when the computer had the accident that landed it in the hospital.

  • Bighorn Celllars “Broken Rock” Cabernet 2004, was actually the last of the case that I tried. It was less cloying and not as heavy or as sweet as most Napa Cabs but still big and bold. It grew more complex the longer it stayed on the tongue as it began somewhat flat and tangy. It almost smelled better than it tasted, as I smelled the fruit and cedar mentioned in the tasting notes. At 14.8 percent alcohol with a $15 pricetag, I would buy for a gift but not for personal consumption.
  • Ojos Verdes Malbec 2008 from Mendoza, Argentina. This baby needs to breathe. It comes out of the bottle acid, harsh, but it mellows with prolonged contact with oxygen and ended with a plummy finish, after a hint of pepper midway through. As a comparison I opened a Malbec that a neighbor gave me. The Agua de Piedra Reserva Malbec 2010 with less alcohol (13 percent vs. 13.9 for the “green eyes”) was much less fruity. I found no need to aerate this one. Much better. And at $16 per bottle, won’t be drinking it again.
  • Orrando Zinfandel 2007, California. (13.5 percent; $16) I normally love red Zins that have the body and style of Cabs without the cloying inkiness. This one was a bit thinner but equally complex. A hint of pepper added to the mystery, along with a bit of chocolate. But it still doesn’t match the Redwood Old Vine Zins.
  • Lagar Alto Tempranillo 2008 (the notes said 2007, but the bottle said 2007), La Mancha, Spain. At $9 to $12 per bottle, this one was definitely a repeat. I was not as impressed the second time around. The notes call it Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon. It was more complex than the California/ Washington State cabs and a bit sweeter than I like. It also had enough tannin to cut back on the sugar. Also a reasonable 12 percent alcohol.
  • Marmesa Chardonnay 2005, Edna Valley, California. This wine was a revelation as it had a real cork, not plastic. The wine was a bit heavy for a spring drink, filled with honey. It had less oak than many Cali chards. The pretty sunshine yellow may be the best harbinger of spring. A huge 14.2 percent alcohol is way too much for a white, but $10 would make it a gift for picnic.
  • Seadrift Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (Sonoma, California) had an initial sparkle, a bit of fizz, followed immediately by that overpowering Welch’s white grape flavor. I’m not a fan of these wines, but this one went OK with the veggie casserole that I made for Thanksgiving. Way overpriced at $15, and 13.5 percent alcohol, high for white.

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