Archive for the Cabernet Category

2006 Ravenswood Cabernet Sauvignon – Vintner’s Blend

Posted in Cabernet on February 5, 2009 by Brad

p1010991This is a pretty common brand.  I’ve seen this wine in grocery stores and I think Trader Joes as well.  It’s typically around $15 I believe.  But there’s a catch… this here is the “Vintner’s Blend”.  Near as I can tell from reading their site… they take the kegs that weren’t quite good enough… a little too much oak, a little too much fruit… and blend them together in the hopes of salvaging something salable that brings out the best in all of them while covering over the worst.  Looks like this sub-brand typically runs $10, but Nugget had it on sale this week for $5.99.  So what the heck!

First impression is this thing is inky black in the glass.  A good first sign, for me anyway.  It has a good nose though I think I’m still a little too stuffy to pick out any particular notes.

Now the taste… warm fruit.  Nothing distinct that I can tell, but strong rich fruit… not bright.  Nothing is bursting out in fireworks.  In fact the flavors are quite mellow and well mixed.  A little earthy and woody, but again not too much.  It all feels very well balanced.  A band with no lead.  And that’s ok for me in a wine, especially one to eat with.  I like it.  Another one that’s growing on me the more I drink it.  I think it would be great with cheese or a roast.

**** (4 stars)

2005 Trader Joe’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted in Cabernet on January 30, 2009 by Brad

p1010982I was interested to see this “Trader Joes” branded wine the other day mysteriously labeled “Reserve”.  It’s origin was shrouded in mystery, but it was a Cab… had “reserve” in the name which made me feel special… and it was a 2005, which seems a little older than most of the Cabs I have been buying so I thought it would be interesting to try.

It’s got a deep black currant color when poured in the glass.  A good sign so far.  The first taste I had was a bit sour… but when I had another glass the next day I think I tasted more what this wine is capable of.  It has an intense black licorice flavor, mixed with blackberries and some black cherries.  That’s a lot of black.  There’s also a hint of oakiness in there too (black oak?).  I’m not a big oak fan, but there not enough of it here to turn me off.

This wine’s growing on me.  I didn’t really like it at first, but now I’m starting to dig it.  But at close to $10 for the bottle (I don’t remember the exact bill, but it was 8 or 9 at least) and such intense flavors, I think it’s a bit limited in it’s opportunities.  Maybe with a big peppery steak.  Yum!

***1/2 (3 and a half stars… maybe 4 if I keep drinking)

UPDATE: I went back to TJ’s today to check the price, but this wine was no where to be found.  Must have been some limited time thing.