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Category Archives: Cabernet Sauvignon

The giant killer from Napa Valley

2007 First Press Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California, USA LCBO# 188110 $19.95

I always love it when an inexpensive wine shows up its more expensive brothers and sisters. It justifies everything that I believe in when in come to wine. What I don’t like is when I am the sucker who brought one of the more expensive wines only to be reminded of what humility tastes like. The forum was a tasting of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons. My entry was a 2005 Frog’s Leap Napa Valley. It was a $60 wine when I bought it on release. With a little bit of age and its pedigree, I was sure that it would be the best wine in the tasting. When the dust settled, my Frog got crushed by a wine a third the price!

The giant killer was the 2007 First Press Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This incredible value has well integrated flavours of black fruit, leather, mocha and cedar. It is very well balanced and has smooth tannins that coat your mouth. This is a great steak wine. Alternatively, I would recommend pairing it with BBQ pork ribs, osso buco or rabbit stew. As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with a hardy cheese like a manchego or a parmigiano.

At $19.95, the 2007 First Press Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the best deal coming out of Napa Valley I have seen in a long time. Go get this wine as fast as you can…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think by commenting below.

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Flight of the Condor!!!

2006 Penley Estate Condor Cabernet/Shiraz, Coonawarra, Australia $22.95 LCBO #731893

This week’s wine is very interesting. It’s a blend of two very popular grape varieties grown in Australia: Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. In most cases, when these two grapes are blended, the result is often less than spectacular. One grape tends to dominate the other. Fortunately for us, the 2006 Penley Estate Condor marries the two beautifully.

This wine shows the best of both grapes with flavours of cassis, blackcurrants and blackberries from the Cabernet and red cherries from the Shiraz. All of these powerful fruits are nicely wrapped up with flavours of tobacco, vanilla, and spice.

This wine would pair great with a rack of lamb or ribs. As for cheese, I would recommend that you try a sharp cheddar or even a Parmigiano.

This is a blockbuster wine and a must buy! I know that it is the holiday season, so when you are at the LCBO picking up a gift for yourself, please pick up a bottle of this wine! At $22.95, it’s an amazing value…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

 
 

A supermarket wine confession

2006 Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon, California $17.75 LCBO #055517

Let’s face it…we are all guilty of secretly liking something that we shouldn’t. You know what I am talking about. The nutritionist who extols the virtues of eating fresh local food, but secretly covets a good Twinkie once in a while. The kid who sat next to you in grade school who was told not to eat the erasers off his pencil, but still couldn’t go the day without chewing one off. For me…it’s this wine.

The 2006 Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon is on paper my least favourite kind of wine. It’s mass produced (242,000 cases made), blended from grapes from all over California, and (worst of all) literally put together by winemakers like some sort of Frankenstein monster….but…I love it. It has all the classic blackberry and plum flavours you would expect from a California Cabernet. Plus, it has really nice notes of cedar and tobacco on the finish.

This is a great everyday wine and pairs well with a pot roast or grilled meat. At $17.75, this is a really well priced wine and something I would definitely recommend. Selfishly, I am really glad this wine knocked me down a peg or two. Otherwise I would have missed out on this easy going gem of a wine…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

 
 

A Cockfighting BBQ….Awesome

2005 Cockfighter’s Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon, Langhorne Creek, South Australia, Australia $23.95 LCBO #672550

There is nothing like a good long weekend to get things back on track. That extra day really does seem to make a difference. So I wanted to get your weekend started in the right direction by picking a great BBQ ready wine.

The 2005 Cockfighter’s Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon is a big Australian red with flavours of raspberry, blackberry, mint, and a hint of dark chocolate and cedar. It has really smooth tannins that make this wine go great with anything BBQ (no matter how badly overdone your neighbour might have cooked it).

At $23.95, this wine is also enough of a value that you won’t feel guilty opening up a couple of bottles this weekend…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think. Enjoy the long weekend everyone!

 
 

West coast wine 101

2005 Mission Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve VQA, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada $24.95 LCBO #553321

Seeing as last week’s wine selection was from Ontario, I felt compelled to look to Canada’s west side for this week’s “Wine of the Week”. British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley has been producing fantastic wines for decades. Unfortunately, here in Ontario our access to these wines has been fairly limited.

The 2005 Mission Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a great example of the skilful wine making taking place out west. It’s a solid wine with flavours of cassis, blueberries, and blackcurrant and a hint of cedar and vanilla on the finish. This wine pairs really well with baby back ribs or any grilled meat.

At $24.95, while not necessarily a “value”, this is a great introduction to Canada’s other great wine-producing region…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

 
 

A Big Tapestry from Oz

2005 Tapestry Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, Australia $24.95LCBO #059980

This week’s wine can be summed up in one word….BIG! The Tapestry Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia’s McLaren Vale is a huge wine that really shouldn’t be drunk without a big piece of grilled meat nearby.

This wine has strong flavours of black cherry and blackberry with a hint of vanilla. It’s full bodied and at 14% alcohol it packs quite a punch if you aren’t careful.

At $24.95, this wine would be great for an outdoor dinner party this summer or can easily be cellared for up to 5 years…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

 

Rabid dogs love good red wine…

2005 Rabid Red, California, $17.95 LCBO #059303

Whenever you see a wine label that only indicates the state or province in which it was made, it’s generally not going to be a good wine. Fortunately, this California red is a great exception to that rule.

Rabid Red is a really interesting wine. A blend of Petite Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon (with a couple of other grapes blended in for good measure) this wine has well balanced flavours of blackberries and red cherries with a nice hint of oak on the finish.

This wine will go well with any grilled meat. At $17.95, this is a delicious and fun wine that’s great for everyday drinking…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

This “Wine of the Week” is dedicated to the memory of my Great Uncle Jack Cooper. A great man.

 
 
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