Tag Archive for 'California red wine'

La Terre Merlot

La Terre MerlotLa Terre Merlot

(no vintage) California $4.24 for 750 ml

(Red Wine)

What’s in a name?  Well, if the name is “earthy,” there are certain expectations that accompany it.  Earthy should mean rich and layered. Maybe a little thick and with round, dusty flavors.  And when you name a red wine “earthy”, but in French, well, then, you’ve really upped the ante.  It just seems that much more poetic, right?  At least, that’s probably what the goal was.

Despite my hopes for this inexpensive Merlot hailing from Woodbridge, California, I was quickly let down by the first whiff of La Terre Merlot’s ascetic acid and nail polish remover fumes. Sharp, sickly sweet-sour and without any depth of flavor, this wine has no redeeming qualities that I can think of.

I’d say that maybe it was just a bad year, but since it doesn’t have a vintage, I can’t really blame it on that, either.

Now, to be fair, I tasted La Terre Merlot with a fellow wine drinker who admittedly does not share my acute dislike for any hint of ascetic acid flavor. To him, the wine tasted “okay” but that was about as positive as the tasting notes got. For me, I downright disliked it and truly, I can’t even offer a description of fruit or woody or any other common flavors as I was simply overwhelmed by the sharp, ascetic acid domination.

wine’s website:  couldn’t find

June 2012 Update:  While traveling a few weeks ago in the South Pacific, I happened upon a newer version of this wine!  I couldn’t resist taking a picture.  Who would have expected to find it — probably one out of a total of 20 brands altogether — at a store in Samoa!

 

 

Delicato Cabernet Sauvignon

Delicato
Cabernet Sauvignon
2005 Manteca, CA $5.50 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

The Delicato Cabernet Sauvignon is a medium-bodied wine imbued with blackcurrant flavor.

For the price, I found this vino to be a pretty good deal.

While it doesn’t have the rolling layers that many other Cabernet Sauvignon offer, I found the Delicato Cab to be pleasant and a little less demanding, too. The flavors were smooth enough to offer the versatility of a wine to be sipped alone or with dinner.

That said, I’ve had other similarly priced Cabernet Sauvignon (think: Little Penguin or Barefoot) that I enjoyed better.

Bottom line: For the price alone, the Delicato Cabernet Sauvignon is worth a try. However, given similarly priced options that I find to be more complex and interesting, I don’t have a compelling reason to buy this again.

wine’s website: www.delicato.com

HRM Rex Goliath Giant 47 Pound Rooster Merlot

HRM Rex Goliath Giant 47 Pound Rooster Merlot¿Free Range?

HRM Rex Goliath Giant 47 Pound Rooster Merlot

Monterey County, California (no vintage) $7.55 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

For such a long-winded and whimsical name, I expected something … interesting, I guess.

It wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong: this wine is not bad, but, for lack of a better word, I’d call it a bit boring.

Which I don’t like to do; I usually find something interesting in almost everything. But the flavor tasted kind of bland and it really didn’t have much personality to it. It wasn’t unpleasant; in fact, I’m sure a lot of people might enjoy sipping on this while they socialize or watch a movie or something. I mean, it wouldn’t be bad for that kind of thing as the flavors would certainly not be demanding or distracting.

My general impression of this wine surprised me as it appears to have won many awards from 2003 and 2004 (no mention on their website of more recent awards). I don’t know; maybe I was having an off taste bud day or something, because the website mentions the wine’s “good seam of acidity” and a “decidedly spicy nose of cherry, cassis and cedar”…???

Maybe so, but I didn’t quit get that. In fact, this wine seemed anything but spicy to me. It seemed pretty low on the acidity, too, which is one thing I noticed immediately and thought might help perk it up a bit.

Cassis? I was completely befuddled by this description as I had no idea what it meant. Thanks to www.m-w.online, however, I discovered that it is simply a French word for black currant. Oh. Well in that case, I did notice a general dark berry/fruit flavor so I’ll go along with this description.

And cedar? Well, I don’t know how to respond to that.

Bottom line, I just found this Merlot a bit flat. Not nasty or disgusting, but not good. It was just okay.

I’m sorry, ¿free range? rooster. At least you have a happy life….

wine’s website: www.rexgoliath.com

Papio Cabernet Sauvignon

Papio Cabernet SauvignonPapio Cabernet Sauvignon

California. $10.83 for 1.5 Liters
(Red Wine)

If you want some inexpensive wine for a party and don’t want to make your friends run gagging into the streets, this is a good find. In fact, I think a party is where this wine belongs as I would probably describe it as a sociable drink.

The Papio Cabernet Sauvignon is kind of like a polite guest: pleasant and enjoyable and without any extreme, attention-seeking qualities. It’s rounder, sweeter and gentler than most Cabernet Sauvignon and actually, much more like a Merlot. It has a nice mellow cherry flavor, but nothing too demanding. No striking tannins or acidity here.

See what I mean? Good party drink.

wine’s website: www.papiowines.com

Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon

Barefoot Cabernet SauvignonBarefoot Cabernet Sauvignon

(no vintage) California. $5.50 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

This wine has won a lot of awards and I can understand why.

For the price alone, there are obvious reasons to appreciate its existence. But when you taste the rich, smooth round flavor with just enough kick in it from tannins and acidity (have you checked out my article on this subject?), you’ll be a little surprised that so much flavor was condensed into a bottle for such little cost.

I thought the fruit flavors where pleasant but I had trouble singling out any particular fruit on my own. Thanks to the bottle’s tasting notes, however, I can tell you that it has been described as “jammy” with “wild berry” and “currant” flavors with hints of oak and clove. Hmm. “Jammy” is usually used as an insult in wine to describe a lack of structure….

In any case, I did get the fruity berry and currant flavors, but in regards to it being jammy, I thought there was enough acidity mixed with it to keep the flavors from falling flat.

I also caught a little of the oak flavor, which makes sense since it was most likely aged in an oak barrel.

But cloves? Not so much for me, anyway.

Bottom line? I’ll be getting this one again.

wine’s website: www.barefootwine.com







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