Cabernet Sauvignon, Not Napa Valley: Alexander Valley, Chile and Other Places, Mostly 2012 & ’13

I launched the “Whither Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon” series in October 2014 as a way of focusing on cabernet-based wines from one the the world’s best places for the grape’s production into fine wine. Or not so fine, depending on one’s point of view about over-strict oak regimen, super-ripe, jammy fruit and alcohol levels that soar to 15 percent and beyond, characteristics that occur too often. But cabernet-based wines are made not only in other regions of California but all around the world. We look today at a baker’s dozen — the superstitious way of saying “13” — of non-Napa Valley examples, mainly from Alexander Valley in Sonoma County and from various spots in Chile. Some of these wines stuck me as being classic in proportion and balance, while a few leaned toward exaggeration; none, however, seemed beyond the pale, and most of the ratings are Excellent. With one exception, ...
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Cliff Creek Cab Sauv 2012
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don melchor 13
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Château de Haute Serre Grand Vin Seigneur Cahors 2012, South West France

Have been a bit tardy reviewing this, some Oddbins stores may already be on 2014… Château de Haute Serre Grand Vin Seigneur Cahors 2012, South West France (£20 Oddbins) Gushes with dark berry and plum fruit, with aromatic notes of violets, wild herbs and spices, and with a backbone of tannins that make their presence […]

Tesco’s Spring Into Summer red collection

This is the Spring Into Summer Case from Tesco Wine By The Case which I’ve been sent to review. It’s £54 for one of each of the bottles, the estimated bottle prices below are those where the wines aren’t available individually. Valtier Utiel-Requeña Reserva 2009, Spain (~£9 Tesco) Some mature toffee aromas alongside the lightly […]

Two Brilliant Value Reds from Wakefield

Wakefield 80 Acres Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2015, South Australia (£6.99 Aldi) Vibrant young wine, combining leafy, minty, oily blackcurranty Cabernet flavours with some earthy spice from Shiraz and a touch of plummy berry from Merlot. Ripe and juicy, but always fresh, very tasty. S- Wakefield 80 Acres Shiraz Viognier 2015, South Australia (£6.99 Aldi) Dense […]

Don Sebastiani Delicious

Don Sebastiani & Sons Pinot Noir has always graced our wine collection, so we were delighted to find out about how this California winery has expanded its portfolio to 14 brands with Big Smooth wines — a beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon and … Continue reading