Browse Tag

cabernet sauvignon

Bosch dishwashers

[vineyard]Neil Ellis 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch) – Unmistakably cabernet, with tobacco, bell pepper, cedar, and a lot of militaristic structure. But nothing is overblown or overdone, the oak has almost totally integrated, and there’s a great deal of promise here…though despisers of all that is green probably won’t be impressed. It’s not a generous wine by any means, and the finish continues to dash and dust various forms of pepper, but it’s a very creditable effort, with medium-term aging likely to bring rewards. (4/08)

Denuño Bettencourt

Finca Omblancas 2004 Jumilla “Denuño” Cabernet Sauvignon (Levant) – 100% cabernet sauvignon. Peppery with hints of tobacco, a healthy dusting of black pepper, and a candied tar finish. Momentary promise is thus destroyed at the conclusion. (10/07)

Hello, God, it’s me…

[bottle]Voyager Estate 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot (Margaret River) – At a good midlife stage right now, showing concentrated blueberry and darker-toned fruit, some leafy, dark earth, and good balance. The structure has started to wear away, but it’s still present, and as yet it’s exposing no flaws. What hasn’t yet come is tertiary complexity, and I have no way of knowing if it ever will come with this wine. But if you’re still holding this, there’s no need to worry. (2/08)

Diamond in the rough

[bottle]Rombauer 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) – Very austere, aromatically, with the palate showing tarred rosemary and not much else. It’s imbalanced in favor of its tannin, as well, which adds to its dry severity. (5/07)

Rombauer 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon “Diamond Selection” (Napa Valley) – Much more structured than the regular cabernet, but more balanced as well, showing espresso, dark black fruit, and leather with a light charred coconut aspect to the finish. More expressive and longer than any of the wines so far, though there’s also the faintest touch of brett. (5/07)

Oh Moutere, I’m in love

Glover’s 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon (Moutere) – Chunky blackberry with rosemary. Very, very tannic, but the raw materials here are much more supportive of this kind of structure, and there’s something approaching what anyone (other than Mr. Glover) might consider balance. (3/05)

Trout it out

Trout Valley 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon (Nelson) – Eucalyptus, thick blackberry, walnut and bark. Strange, but not as bad as I might have predicted. I guess that’s praise…still, I suspect Nelson is not the right climate for cabernet. (3/05)

Col Solare 2004 (Columbia Valley) – 80% cabernet sauvignon, 17% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot. Cedar and smoke, with simple fruit. Long and relatively balanced, supported by good structure, but it dries out on the finish. It’s as if the wine just gives up. (9/07)

Fielding Hills 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope (Washington) – 76% cabernet sauvignon, 18% syrah, 5% merlot, 1% cabernet franc. Eucalyptus, blueberry and blackberry with a chocolate/coffee underbelly and myrtille liqueur on the finish. But that’s not all…there’s an herbal Chartreuse element to it as well. Perhaps blessedly, the finish is rather abrupt. A weird, weird wine. (9/07)

[label]Pepper Bridge 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley) – 85% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot, 5% cabernet franc, 3% malbec. Reasonably balanced (or so it seems at first), showing coffee and toasted spice amidst the over fruit. Very, very thick. This might otherwise be considered promising, but there’s an unmistakable burn that eventually overwhelms everything. (9/07)


Santa Domingo “Casa Mayor” 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua Valley) – Stewed herbs and residual sugar. This isn’t just horrible, this is an actual crime against nature and all that is good and decent in this universe. Among the worst wines I have ever tasted.