Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weeknight Drinkers -- Part II

A few months ago, we talked about some weeknight drinkers. Having now worked my way through a case (or, um, two), it's time for the next round of house wine tastes. I was all set to do some whites, but I'm back in a red wine mood. Here are the results of our most recent tasting.

2005 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon: I've long been a fan of RS's collector cabs and this budget version showed strongly. Normally priced $19-20 per bottle, Enthusiast gives this one 90 pts and it lived up to every one of them. It was identifiable as a California cab right from the start (we taste blind and try to guess) and remained elegant, smooth, but still hearty through dinner. This was our pick for a case. $12.99 (Costco)

2005 Beringer Founders Estate California Cab: Beringer makes terrific high-end cabs and this low-end option shows their skill. Unintimidating, it opened big like a Malbec with lots of spice, berry, anise, and heat. Within a few minutes, it smoothed out nicely, and maintained character as an eminently drinkable, if light, option. Perfect for a case buy party wine especially at the price. $6.99 (Costco)

2006 Chakana Malbec Argentina: Enthusiast gave this 90 pts and it showed well as a chewy, spicy, traditional Malbec. Spicy, hearty, this one would be terrific on a cold night with a rich, meaty pasta sauce or steak off the grill. $8.99 (Costco).

Las Rocas Garnacha, Rioja: Parker gives this familiar little drinker 91-92 pts and it was a no brainer for our list. Sadly, it just didn't stand up. It opened with a huge nose, high alcohol, and big black pepper finish. As the night wore on, it degenerated into an acidic, thin wine with little of its original flavor ("funk") as it opened up alcohol burned off. It was practically flavorless by the end. $9.99 (Costco)


dhonig said...

Nice reviews. I looked all over your site and could not find an email address. I wanted to invite you to join The 89 Project (If you are interested, you can reach me by the email address at the site). Also, could you add 2 Days per Bottle to you Indiana food and wine blogroll. Finally, thanks for the Blog Indiana link. I had not even heard about it, and am now frantically trying to rearrange my schedule to attend.

braingirl said...

Thanks for the pointers. I have to confess, I'm not sure I'm 100% on board with the concept of 2 Days Per Bottle. Wine stops aging once the bottle is opened and starts oxidizing -- and it's something I'm particularly sensitive to, especially with whites and less expensive reds. Older, heavy wines often benefit from aeration, but to my taste, it's rare a wine is better on the second day, even with good preservation. But good for you for experimenting.

Hope to see you at Blog Indiana.

J. Silverheels Gray said...

My favorite of late has been the Terra Andina Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 from Central Valley, Chile. It really does deliver an amazing amount of flavor, body and satisfaction for just $7. I first tried it on a Monday and couldn't quite accept how much I liked it, but after resampling it each successive night of the week (with, as they say, consistent results), by Friday I was a believer.