Sunday, December 9, 2007

Mega wineries surprise me with cheap blends....

Ahh…the mega wineries. Usually predictable, but sometimes not always predictable in a good way. But occasionally I get surprised, so when I saw the 2005 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Vinetta and 2004 Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Meritage Red, both for under $12, at the grocery store, I couldn’t help but pick them up. Although fair warning, the Mondavi starts off with a near zero finish but, with like 20 mins in a decanter, it all sudden gets a finish. Still a short one, but about what you’d expect for a $15-ish wine. The Kendall-Jackson was actually pretty decent. I might even say it’s under priced- I’d pay close to $20 for it. Here’s some info on each:

Blend Percentage: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 11% Petite Sirah, 5% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc
Winemaker's Notes
Robert Mondavi Private Selection 2005 Vinetta is a blend of the five class Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Produced from choice Central Coast and North Coast grapes, it offers lavish dark plum, black cherry and blackberry aromas, a smooth, plush texture, succulent mid-palate flavors and an impressively long finish bolstered by beautifully integrated tannins and savory oak tones. Enjoy this delicious red wine with grilled rib-eye or porterhouse steak, lamb chops, osso bucco and flavorful cheeses.
Tasting Notes
"The 2004 Meritage has aromas of blackberry, black licorice and violet. On the palate, juicy black cherry, along with cassis, espresso and pomegranate are well balanced with generous, round tannins. In a word, this wine is plush." – Randy Ullom, Winemaster

K-J Meritage Red:
"Meritage," pronounced like "heritage," is a combination of the words merit and heritage.
Only Meritage Association members may use this terminology. The association was founded in 1988.
Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a splash of Cabernet Franc from several counties including San Benito, Napa and San Luis Obispo.
Artisan winemaking techniques, such as cold soaking and extended maceration, were used to enhance and simultaneously, soften the tannins, deepen the color and intensify the flavors.
Handcrafted in small individual lots throughout the winemaking process – boutique winery style, for flavor distinction. Coastal San Benito County adds blackberry, dried cherry and cocoa flavors. Napa benchland vineyards provide cassis and licorice flavors with generous, round tannins.

Wine Statistics
Composition: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc
Growing Regions: 23% San Benito County, 22% Napa County, 15% San Luis Obispo County, 13% Sonoma County, 10% Mendocino County, 11% Solano County
Barrel Aging: 9 months in 56% French (53% new) and American oak

No comments: