Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Brancaia “TRE” 2005 $26

Tuscany, Italy

I generally don’t rush out to purchase wines listed as “tops” in any category, unless there appears to be something noteworthy and moderately priced. In this case it was the #10 wine in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list and being priced below $30, it was worthy of a trip to hunt down locally in one my wine stores.

This is a nice blend of Sangiovese (80%), Merlot (10%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%). With the majority being Sangiovese, you’d think this would resemble strong characteristics of a Chianti. And not that I don’t love my Chianti, but don’t be fooled. The Merlot & Cab. balance out the general sweetness of the Sangiovese and make this much less of a “fruity” arrangement than a typical Chianti. The boldness of the Cab is my guess on balancing the other two varietals.

Aromas of cherries, black currants and a hint of dust (probably from the oak aging) setup for wonderful medium body flavors. Plums and blackberries along with a mild vanilla essence balanced the fruit in this wine well. Mild tannins with a slightly dry finish leave you wanting more. It’s dark purple color, pleasing bouquet and balanced flavors make this a winner! The 2007 is out now and I’m off to find it.

Wine Maker Note:

TRE stands for the three grape varieties Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and for our three Tuscan estates – the basis for this wine. This elegant and well structured wine ages in oak casks, is easily accessible and matches every cuisine.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Villa Mt. Eden, Cabernet Sauvignon ’05 $15

Napa Valley, CA

I bought this wine completely on the experience I had with the Villa Mt. Eden, ’05 Zinfandel (see March 2009). After trying the Zin and going back to buy up as much as I could afford, I felt not trying their Cab might leave me missing out. I recommend everyone try out something new from time to time and use whatever knowledge base you want including your own tasting experience with other varietals, from the same winery.

So my Zin experience was great and I must say this Cab didn’t disappoint me. It started out with aromas of black pepper and ripe dark fruits such as plum and blackberry…kind of giving off a bold characteristic. Upon the first tastes dark cherries and an earthy, mineral sensation came on. So I decided to decant it for 20-30 minutes and WOW what a difference. Tasting it now took on a whole new group of flavors. Fruit forward with dark currants and a subtle hint of cocoa. The mineral characteristics softened leaving a nice, medium oak nuance. I’d give this wine a medium body rating and possibly light for a Cab. The blend is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec and 2% Merlot. It definitely was easy drinking and went great accompanying a new Guy Fieri recipe of braised beef short ribs with a chipotle & dark cherry reduction.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.