Wine Tasting – Cabernet Sauvignon


This past friday was another get together for our monthly Wine Club, four couples trying a different food and wine theme every month, meeting at a different couple’s home each time. It was our turn to host again so I got to choose the wine and food theme. I decided on 2 wines, a premium Cabernet Sauvignon priced between $35-$40 and a second cheaper wine priced $15-$20. I wanted to see how the cheaper wines compared to the more expensive wines in our tasting.

We ended up with 10 different wines. Before you wonder how 8 people got through 10 wines, we did have a few extra guests attend.

Onto the wine, starting with the $35-$40 wines:

1. Conn Valley Vineyards Reserve, 2004 – this is an excellent wine, probably the best of the night. We rated it as Good, almost Great on our rating system. Very smooth, beautiful flavor. I just purchased 2005 futures from the wine library. Robert Parker rated the 05 at 94 points.

2. Stag’s Leap Artemis 05 – Rated Good. Strong bouquet. Would benefit from decanting.

3. Mount Veeder Winery, 2004 – Thick wine, loads of blackberry, fruity. Good / Great.

4. Sequoia Grove, 2004 – Rated as Ok.

5. Beringer, 2003 – Rated as Ok.

The $15-20 wines:

1. Mantra 2003 – Rated good. The best of the cheaper wines. This is 75% Alexander Valley and 25% Dry Creek Valley. This was rated Good. We thought this was the best value of the night. It did benefit from being decanted for 3 hours. I am a real convert to decanted.

2. Liberty, Paso Robles, 2005 – This wine seemed more like a Zinfandel rather than a Cab. Rated as Doable which is our 2nd lowest rating.

3. The Show, 2006 – Rated Doable, close to Stinky. Probably the worst for the night. Wine actually had a sour finish.

4. Coppola, Diamond Collection, 2005 – Rated as Decent, not memorable.

5. Benziger, 2005 – Rated Decent. Good value.

As far the food is concerned, we had a rack of lamb (I’ll post the recipe), spaghetti with red sauce, assorted antipasti, assorted cheeses with bread, belgian chocolate and chocolate truffles.

Our next meet is on the 25th, we might be doing red Zinfandels.

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