Friday, February 8, 2013

Dutcher Crossing, Cabernet Sauvignon '09 $29

Sonoma, CA (Dry Creek Valley)

An opulent, soft and sophisticated cabernet you don't dare miss out on!

This is the Proprietor's Reserve I was introduced to a few months ago and I just opened a bottle the other night with friends. I remember the wineries nickname for this being their "breakfast cab."  I'm guessing it goes with anything and I'm in full agreement.

Deep purple color and aromas of ripe plums, black cherries, vanilla and toasted wood brought together such an amazing nose. It's not often you're guests say "damn" before they take a first sip.  Well that's no lie.

On the tongue this was a silky, flavorful blend of ripe blackberries and mocha followed by a long, soft finish. Mellow dark fruits with a hint of spice but nothing too overwhelming.  Aged for 26 months on oak this actually is 78% Cab and 22% Syrah. This is something fairly new for California Cabs yet a great combination done in Australia for years with much success.

Debra Mathy, Proprietor, has a very touching, real life story on starting Dutcher Crossing and it's evident that her passion has paid off in the wines they're producing. The wine maker, Kerry Damskey, has done equally an amazing job in crafting perfection especially into this wine I had. I'm looking forward to the Zin I'm holding on to for my next write up on their wines.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Château Vieux Dominique '10 $13

Bordeaux Superior

For some that know me, my fondness for French wines is somewhat challenged.  In general you need to pay a higher price to gain quality which doesn't always hold true in wines from other parts of the world.

So as I continue to challenge one of my favorite wines shops to recommend an under $20 bottle of French wine that I might like, I think they found one.

My take on French wines is they're very earthy, dry and tannic.  Therefore, I needed to let this assumption go before tasting this wine or I was never going to get over my little hang up.

The nose brought out dark cherries, roasted coffee and hints of smoke and herbs.  With this aroma blend I was soon forgetting my preconceived notions.  On the first sip a heavy alcohol "pop" was there but soon diminished after 15 minutes in the glass.  Flavors of mocha along with cherries and a minor tartness on the tannins left me to believe a short decanting would help. Sure enough, after 20 minutes the tannins somewhat smoothed out and the finish had a nice length to it. Plums seemed to come out now in the flavor profile followed by a subtle roasted coffee on the finish. The tannins seemed to balance well with the flavors however it's not for the faint lover of "easy drinking" style wines.  Full body would be my take on this Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend.

For many French wine producers the 2009s were outstanding.  2010 was a bit more challenging year with alcohol levels and tannins being higher.  Given this overall synopsis, this 2010 is quite nice especially being under $20 for a relatively young wine.  It's starting to change my mind. Let's hope for more to do so as well.

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