Photo from Exotic Excess
The Theme is "Christmas Cabernet"! Also to make it more challenging, try to find a Cabernet that is NOT from California. It can be a blend, but must be mostly Cabernet as the main varietal.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine. Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Many places (other than California) which have Cabernet Sauvignon wines are: Italy, France, Chile, Australia, Spain, South Africa, and several Eastern European Countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, etc.
TWITs Tasting Notes:
Welcome Wine: 2009 Viña Peñalolén Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile $18.99 (had to order via retailer from distributor, currently this is not carried in stores in GA).
I tasted the 2007 vintage, during a TWITs event in 2010. Amazingly, I remembered the name of this wine, reading it off the menu at Barcelona Wine Bar, even though I hadn't seen the bottle in years. It's superb BTW. - Low yields and hand harvesting indicate the care given to this superior fruit from Alto Maipo, high upon the gravelly slopes of the Maipo Valley. These standards extend to the wine-making process, with meticulous grape selection and aging in French oak barrels for 12 months. Made from a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, this is a bright and juicy wine full of red fruits and spring accents with well polished and integrated tannins. Always excellent! Alcohol: 14% pH: 3.74 "Founded by Ricardo Peña and his wife Isabel, Peñalolén is a family-owned, boutique winery committed producing unique Chilean wines full of personality and verve. The wines are made by winemaker Jean-Pascal Lacaze, who is well respected for his deft hand and memorable wines. All grapes are grown and hand harvested with meticulous care to guarantee the integrity of the fruit" The sculpture on the bottle, I believe was done by Benjamin Lira, a Chilean artist. (while I CANNOT find anything that specifically says that it is him, all research does show he must be the guy). http://www.blira.com/eng/entrevista.php?carpeta=entrevista
http://www.phuketemagazine.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Teorema2_resize.jpg People from left to right: Mr. Benjamin Lira Artist (Wine Label), Mr. Jean Pascal Lacasze (Winemaker Chile), Mr. Carl Langenskiold (Twinpalms Chairman), Mr. Olivier Gibaud (Twinpalms General Manager)
1) 2010 Guardian Peak Frontier Red, Western Cape, South Africa, $15 @ PH Wine Merchant
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Shiraz, 25% Merlot, 13.5% alcohol
aromas: cassis, caramel, coffee, pepper spice, minerality, petroleum, "it smells like a cab", smoky pepper, "guessing this is older", Deb suggests March 2002 vintage, bell pepper, "almost a cab franc"
palate: smooth, gripping tannins, tight, not enough use yet,
2) 2007 Chateau Cordet Margaux $39 @ Vino Venue, 13% alcohol,
Aromas: perfumey, oak, old lady perfume, "like hugging grandma", powdery, puff of talcum powder,
Palate: "it's not bad, but it's not good", flabby on the mouth, impotent, geriatric, "it's like Ryan Seacrest, Fake", Kathy says "it's French" (and she was right this time)
3 people initially dumped this one into the dump bucket, but later when we re-tasted it, this wine had opened up some and was much better.
3) 2010 Tierra Brisa Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina $12 @ Whole Foods, 13.5% alcohol
Aromas: musty, basement, earthy, mothballs, perhaps French, it opens up to a more perfumey nose, "road hard and put up wet", wet dog, compost, rotten veggies. Might be corked.
Palate: Fruity mouth feel, cherry, cranberry, red apples, dustbowl in the end (finish)
4) 2010 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon - Columbia Valley, Washington $15 @ Smoke Rise
Aromas: "this one is calling my name", wedding cake, vanilla, coconut, champagne, ocean, sea breeze, mushroom, "I would drink all of this", Rheinallt says it smells like Val's hand lotion (a compliment I believe), super oaky
Palate: clove, nutmeg, creamy, complex, caramel butter popcorn
5) 2007 Odfjell Armador Cabernet Sauvignon - Maipo Valley, Chile $13.99 @ Marietta Wine Merchant, 13% alcohol
Aromas: cough syrup, "might be corked", natural gas, cat pee, nettles, sulfur, compost heap, baby diaper, "it's blowing off now though", French! cat antibiotics, festering urine, chemical, "Smells poisonous", STINKY, waste bucket in a lab,
Palate: Tart, dry, Deb says "some of us like this", Les says "best so far", Ardella says "Classic Cab"
6) 2009 Casa Silva Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva - Colchagua Valley Chile $ ?Kathy's?
Aromas: "I love it", nose like #4, not as soft as #4, not as powerful as #4, not as oaked, smells like amazing perfume, sweet cucumbers, crisp smells like pineapple, tropical, papaya
Palate: more fruit forward, many did not like the mouth feel, funky finish, ugh, metallic, "like breathing through a muffler," "like a wedding where the hotel picked the wine"
7) 2007 Hestan Meyer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (unfiltered), Napa Valley, CA $39.99 @ Sherlock's Wine Merchant
they said *we wanted the TWITs to be able to compare the others to a California Cab.*
Aromas: christmas tree, strawberry jelly, jammy, jam-jam-jam-jam, "first one without an off smell", fruit, smells like Shiraz, sugar and spice and everything nice, sugar plum, chutney,
Palate: velvety, new world, nice finish, "too much Merlot in the blend", zin-dryness @ the end, dried apricots and apricot kernels, perhaps it's a california zin as a joke? guessing Molly Dooker Maitre'D?
-Whitley on Wine, Robert Whitley, 91pts: (This) is a classic Napa Valley Cab with rich dark fruit aromas, density on the palate, and persistence of flavor through the finish. It is Hestan's "volume" wine in that more than 2,000 cases are produced, which is about half of the entire Hestan production.
-Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, 90pts: Deep ruby. Powerful scents of cherry-vanilla, cassis and cocoa powder, with a hint of espresso in the background. Fleshy and smooth in texture, offering gently sweet dark fruit and mocha flavors that show a seamless quality. Gentle tannins build with air and add shape to the long, supple finish. This wine is drinking very well right now. Wine Spectator, James Laube, 90pts Wine Enthusiast, Steve Heimoff 88pts
8) 2010 Arizona Stronghold Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Dala - $25.00 @ Total Wine (or may have been purchased at our Arizona Wine Tasting earlier in the year) 13.9%
Aromas: plums, prune, soft moist prunes, fresh prunes, a little earthy mushroon,
Palate: a nice smooth prune, cherry, raisin finish, a little licorice at finish, boiled compote, fruit cake mixture, a good aspic, Josh says "like a tortilla"
9) 2007 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Yarden Kosher Wine - $35.99 @ Toco Giant
from Galilee Israel, 15% alcohol
Aromas: chocolate, cherry, tootsie roll, it's like a port, I'm guessing Portuguese,
Palate: acidic, like bile at the finish, licoricey, cough syrupy, medicinal, like you are drinking good wine, then there's this 1 crappy bottle at the end.
but on revisit it was much loved.
10) 2009 Hogue Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley, Washington $20 - purchased at the winery on a trip with his daughter.
Aromas: very dark, high alcohol, spice,
Palate: chewy, dark chocolate, sediment-y?, caramel, most balanced, perhaps MollyDooker?
"Good, but it's the Buble" (previous side conversation about how you want to love Michael Buble, but sometimes he's too over the top, and you really want Sinatra).