Thursday, September 22, 2011

Edge Cabernet Sauvignon ’08 $20

Napa Valley, CA

While on the hunt for a decent Napa Cab that wouldn’t “break the bank” I was introduced to Edge.  Given it’s price point, relatively below most good Napa Cabs, I was a little skeptical.  I hate to believe price dictates quality especially with a wine I don’t know and now my theory proves correct.  To say it blew me away for $20 is an understatement!

Starting with hints of black pepper followed by ripe dark cherries the aromas we’re awesome.  Black fruit, subtle toasted wood, almost like cedar and hearty herbs supported my belief, I may have stumbled on a new favorite red. 

Comprised of pleasant dark fruit flavors, rich blackberries and a smooth balance of vanilla, this was going to be a bottle I needed to buy more of!  Hints of cocoa, medium tannins and a clean finish went absolutely fabulous with the grilled ribeye steak I had.

Much of the toasted wood aromas & flavors is from this wine spending 16 months in French & American oak.  The well-balanced fruit and smooth mouth feel are more than likely brought out from a small percentage of Merlot blended in.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Juan Gil, Monastrell ’09 $13

Jumilla, Spain

I wasn’t sure what to expect after being referred to this varietal, which can also be found as a blending grape with varietals such as Grenache and Shiraz.  As I’m always learning from others, this too was another one of those “Ah-ha” moments.  The Monastrell grape is the same as Mourvedre, which is commonly grown in the South of France.

With aromas of black pepper spice, blackberry, toasted cedar and a hint of being somewhat gamey, this was appearing to be a well-rounded, new red for me.  A medium bodied mouth feel supported subtle flavors of dark cherries and plums.  Where I was most impressed was how easy drinking this was especially with soft tannins and a finish of cocoa and traces of licorice.

I'm told this wine goes quite well with smoked gouda cheese although my choice was a marinated and grilled skirt steak. Overall I was impressed with this new selection for me, but now I’ve seen other wineries, primarily from Spain, making 100% Monastrell.  I definitely credit my local wine store staff in guiding me to new wines…and this one was a “keeper.”

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