Tag Archive for 'California wine'

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

Beringer Moscato

Beringer MoscatoBeringer Moscato
2008, Napa California, $6.00 for 750ml, 10% Alc. content
White Wine
 

My first experience with white wine was waaaaaay back in the 1990’s when I had just finished high school and had somehow managed to finagle a glass of Chardonnay from a disgruntled flight attendant.  I unpeeled my foil-wrapped chicken Marsala, opened up the individually-sized cheddar cheese (you know, the baby round ones in that red wax coating) and thrilled at the prospect of finally discovering what all the fuss was about.  Plastic glass in hand, I took a deep sip of my ill-gotten hooch.  Well, I was disappointed.  Not just that, but I truly hated it.  I couldn’t imagine why anyone would actually choose to drink this stuff!  (Of course, this was at a time when I drank copious amounts of kool aid and very, very, very sweet ice coffee.)  

At any rate, since then, I don’t know if I’ve ever met a Chardonnay that I have had strong positive feelings for.  But I think I’ve discovered the reason: I’m a sucker for sweet white wine.  It’s delicious and refreshing and (unless fortified or harvested late) often a little lower on the alcohol content.

Beringer’s Moscato is no different; it is crisp, brightly aromatic and just acidic enough to balance out the sweetness so you don’t feel like your drinking kool aid (no offense to the stuff — I’ve already confessed to having been an avid fan). Maybe it was the name “Moscato” which comes from the Muscat family within the Vitis vinifera species (the species that most of our well known wines come from such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, etc.), but the flavor did remind me some of apple mixed with muscadine — which is a totally different species of grape (Vitis rotundifolia) grown largely in the southeastern United States.  

Oh, and the Beringer Moscato is pretty, too.  It looks like pale, liquid gold in a glass.

Bottom line:  I like it!  It is perfect for a dessert wine or just alone, and I actually tried it both at room temperate and chilled; I enjoyed both versions, but the chilled went better with my dinner of chicken and veggie fried rice.  I’d would definitely be amenable to getting this again.

 One last tip: if you’re interested in trying this or other versions of Moscato, note that “Muscat, Moscatel or Moscato” are all the same thing, just different ways of identifying this variety.

 wine’s website: www.beringer.com

Liberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

Liberty Creek Cabernet SauvignonLiberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
(no vintage) California $8.00 for 1.5 L
(Red Wine)

I’ve tried to think of something great to say about Liberty Creek’s Cabernet Sauvignon.But, I just can’t.

It’s not horrible; it’s just not that good.For a Cabernet, this wine is missing some umph.

It’s higher in acidity than a lot of Cabernet and rather thin-bodied.It tastes like the wine has been watered down a bit, and the tannins left a lot to be desired as well.In fact, I had trouble locating them.

The overall flavor of this Cabernet was a bit one-dimensional and I was left feeling like someone forgot to put half of the wine’s flavor into the bottle.Does that make sense?

Bottom line, Liberty Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is not a repulsive wine and for the price, some might want to at least give it a try. But, if you are desiring a layered and full-flavored experience, don’t take a dip in Liberty Creek.

Website: Update: At the time this review was written, no website could be found.  A reader has since informed me that one now exists.  It is LibertyCreekWine.com

Coastal Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon

Coastal Ridge Cabernet SauvignonCoastal Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon

2004. California. $12.00 for 1.5L
(Red Wine)

You know how I said I haven’t met many Cabernet Sauvignons that I didn’t like?  Well, I think I just did. Or maybe, almost just did. I mean, it’s a pretty close call….

For some reason, I expected this wine to taste similar to a Barefoot Cabernet. As it turns out, not so much.

The color is a dark, thick red to almost brownish-purple and the smell is of dark berries and something … vegetably? At first, I also thought it smelled a tiny bit like lavender, which really impressed me. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled a hint of lavender before, but I honestly thought I detected it here. It was nice and it made me happy.

Anyway, the vegetably smell continued to bother me, so I took a sip.

Makes sense, right?

At first, the taste was okay, but as I had a few more sips, that vegetable flavor really started to come through and overtake the fruity, lavendery pleasantness. The vegetable taste was like rotting green veggies…. Yep, that’s what I tasted.

Also—and this might be tied in to the vegetable flavor—it tasted like it had been accidentally oxidized. As in, it tasted like the wine had been left open for a few days before someone decided to seal it with a cork. When I realized this, I had one of those surreal, creative-fiction experiences where in my mind, I saw this poor bottle of wine sitting in the bottom of a vintner’s cellar somewhere in Napa California, uncorked and shivering in a dark corner one Monday morning. Along comes the minimum wage employee* who had left work early the Friday before and sees the neglected bottle of wine. “Crud!” says the employee (or something akin to such language), “I totally forgot to seal that one.” Looking around and confirming no witnesses are present, the employee stealthily pops a cork in the wine, seals it with foil and scoots it into the appropriate bin. For him, all is well with the world.

Well, that bottle of wine made it to my living room where I sat on the couch, mouthful of vegetable with hints of lavender, and witnessed this injustice in my mind’s eye. Employee person in Napa, hear this: Karma.

The reason why I can’t say I just hated this wine is because I did enjoy the other fruity, lavender-like flavors. And I have to be fair: twelve bucks for a 1.5 liter of wine is a good deal and you can’t expect Cabernet nirvana. However, the vegetable/oxidized sensation bothered me to a point where I think it actually turned my stomach a little, but this is the thing: I was tasting the Coastal Ridge Cabernet with another person who didn’t seem to detect this less-than-pleasing nuance. He said he thought it tasted pretty good.

I looked him over closely and determined that he didn’t appear to be suffering from a cold, so I have to pay his sense of taste and smell at least some semblance of respect.

Bottom line: I didn’t really care for this wine. However, seeing the Napa employee was kind of fun, so if you’re bored …

*Disclaimer: Referring to a “minimum wage employee” is not snobbery on antiwinesnob’s part; creators of antiwinesnob have themselves spent the majority of their working lives as minimum wage employees and so can relate this vision as a testament to their own experiences while within that paradigm. Furthermore, aniwinesnob has no actual knowledge of the goings-on at any wineries located in Napa and has related their creative vision for entertainment purposes only.

3 Blind Moose Cabernet Sauvignon

3 Blind Moose Cabernet Sauvignon

California (Woodbridge) $8.89 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

Some people call me cheap, but I prefer, frugal and unpretentious. So, for me, almost 9 bucks for a 750 ml bottle of wine was on the steeper end of things. Shut up and don’t laugh at me. I’m being serious.

My personal scruples being set aside, I thought the price of 3 Blind Moose Cabernet Sauvignon still reasonable enough to be included on this website. And, its got a cool name.

So how was it?

Well, I thought it smelled very strong of alcohol with an almost peppery scent. That said, the smell was pleasant and strong.

The taste was tannin-laden with what I can only describe as a sour black currant flavor. Now, I know I keep using black currant in my descriptions for (mostly) Cabernets, but the truth is, it really does taste like black currants. To me, much more so than other berry or fruit flavors. In 3 Blind Moose’s case however, it tasted like sour black currants; as in, slightly sour or bitter or unripe.

The website’s tasting notes describe the wine as having “flavors of dark berry, plum, chocolate, clove and spice”.

I don’t think I caught many of these unless, by dark berries, they mean black currants. In that case, yes, I scored a point. And maybe I sensed some plum and spice (I did detect a peppery smell at first).

Unfortunately, I really didn’t catch a hint of chocolate or clove.

Oh well.

The tasting notes also described the wine as being “medium-bodied, soft palate”. Now, I know what a soft palate is and, on a personal level, I’m familiar with my own. But I’m not sure what is meant when a wine is said to be “soft palate”. The notes don’t say that the wine will flow gently on my soft palate. No. Instead, the notes say the wine itself is soft palate.

This perplexes me.

Do they really mean that the wine itself is a mouth with a soft, fleshy area located near the oropharynx? I’m thinking probably not.

Do they mean that the wine rolls softly on my soft palate? I hope it does. I don’t want something hard on my soft palate, that would just be confusing.

Do they mean that the wine is gentle and smooth in one’s mouth and general-palate-area? I’m thinking probably. But in that case, they should say the wine is soft on one’s palate. Not that the wine is soft palate….

Still, I’m left scratching my head, poking my palate and wondering about the meaning of it all. More on this later, but for now, I’ll say that soft palates aside, 3 Blind Moose Cab did have a nice full flavor that I enjoyed. But for the price, next time, I’ll probably save almost 2 bucks and opt for a more inexpensive wine that I like better.

wine’s website: www.3blindmoose.com







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