Monthly Archive for June, 2010

David Stone Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

David Stone Vineyards Cabernet SauvignonDavid Stone Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Modesto, California, $5.50 for 750ml, 12% Alc.
Red Wine

I would have never have guessed that this is a Cabernet Sauvignon.  Ever.  After trying it and then re-trying it, I checked the label just to make sure that I was not seeing things.  Nope.  It most definitely identified itself as a Cab.  How curious….

David Stone’s Cabernet Sauvignon is not what one might expect out of a Cabernet Sauvignon.  For starters, it is slightly sweet — not like a dessert wine, but rather like some Spanish or German reds I’ve tasted before.  Secondly, it is very low in tannins, which is really one of the more defining characteristics of most Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve ever had in the past.  Thirdly, to me at least, it simply does not taste like a Cabernet Sauvignon — it is just too mild, too sweet and, for lack of a better descriptor, too round.

In fact, the alcohol content and modest level of acidity (very modest, mind you) are the only things holding it together, convincing me that I have not just ingested some strange concoction of plain ol’ grape juice.  Not that I found it unpleasant; rather, just unexpected and slightly baffling.

Bottom line: If you are in the mood for a Cabernet Sauvignon, then you will probably be disappointed by David Stone Vineyard’s Cabernet Sauvignon.  If you simply like to try new wine and are looking for something affordable, mild and red, then you might have stumbled onto a bargain!

wine’s website:  couldn’t find

Stone Hill Vidal Blanc

Stone Hill Vidal BlancStone Hill Vidal Blanc
Herman, Missouri, 2008, $6.99 for 750 ml, 13.5% Alc
Dry White Wine

During a recent road-trip to Missouri, I spied this vino at a grocery store.  Resisting the instinct to purchase only luscious local reds, I grabbed a bottle and resolved to give it a try.  After all, a day riding bikes on the [stupendously fantastic] Katy Trail works up a thirst for something cool, crisp and refreshing!

The Vidal Blanc, described on the label as a dry white wine that is “fruity with a hint of spice”, was, to my parched palate, exactly what I had hoped for.  It was pleasantly tart, mixed with what I can only best describe as a round, fruity flavor akin to cantaloupe and something else mildly tropical — perhaps lychee (honest!), although I must disclose that this description gives me some feeling of AntiWineSnob hypocrisy.  Plus, I believe it was the aroma more than the flavor that conjured that last one to mind.   The heat exhaustion might have helped with that, too ….

Back to Stone Hill’s Vidal Blanc:  While certainly not a sweet wine, I would agree that the aroma and the flavor were fruity, but what “a hint of spice” is supposed to mean eludes me.  I did not decipher anything that would remind me of pepper or coriander or clove or anise or anything else that I might daydream of procuring at some exotic, faraway locale.

Regarding the actual identity of the wine itself, I am still a bit unsure of what exactly Vidal Blanc is.  I understand from some brief research that Vidal Blac is actually a fusion of Ugni Blanc, a widely used European grape that is apparently used primarily in cognac, and Rayon D’Or, which I have had difficulty finding much information on, other than one website that cited it as “rare”.   Hmm….  Well, if anyone has other information on this elusive grape, please feel free to post it in the comments.  It would be appreciated.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a dry white wine that is a little less off the beaten path (than, say, Chardonnay), but hanker for a quaff that’s still casual, bright and fruity, then you may want to give Stone Hill’s Vidal Blanc a try.

wine’s website:

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