Posts Tagged ‘California Wine


Fiction is Better than reality

2009 Fiction, Red Blend, Paso Robles

It’s a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Verdot and Tempranillo. With a limited production of only 400 cases. This was an amazing wine for $20. Deep ruby-red colour; Vibrant nose of spiced berries; Lush and rich palate of dark fruits and warm baking spices; and lively finish. It had great balance and structure with smooth tannins providing grip and tangy acidity to keep you wanting more!


staglin and steaks

So it was a gorgeous night out last night and the Hawks were playing…it was time for some Staglin and Steaks!

First a couple of nice ribeye on the grill:

Then pop open the 2006 Staglin Family Estate, “Salus” Cabernet, Rutherford
Let it decant for an hour:

The it was time to dine:

Right off the bat I noticed its deep ruby red color and its wonderful nose of red fruits, hint of mint and peppery oak spice. The palate was certainly rich and supple with tons of lush plum and blackberry flavours bolstered by pretty smooth tannins and underlying notes of oak and chocolate. The finish was long and smooth with only the acidity letting me know that it was still a bit tight and could have used another year or so. But hey! You only live once and win the Stanley Cup once in 49 years. Besides with the ribeyes and the Spinach and Bocconcini cheese salad with cherry tomatoes and red onion with a light oil and vinegar dressing, it was perfect! The night was perfect! Can’t go wrong with that!


everything you wanted in a Cab and Hess!

Trying out a new notes format….(tell me what you think)

2007, Hess Select, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino, Lake, Napa

Region(s): 47% Mendocino County, 37% Lake County, 16% Napa County
ABV: 13.5%
Retail Price: $17.99 (Whole Foods in Oak Park, Il)

Back Label: “Sourced from family owned and sustainably farmed vineyards in three appellations: Mendocino, Lake and Napa counties. By narrowing the appellations to these three areas that specialize in Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, we feel this wine has reached a new level of richness and intensity. Mendocino contributes spice and mid-palate. Lake adds the classic red fruit profile of Bing cherry, while Napa maintains our signature style of a structured wine with black fruit and Cassis flavours.”

My Notes:

See: Deep ruby-red with tints of garnet.

Sniff: Red fruits and eucalyptus, white pepper, cedar, cigar leaf tobacco

Sip: Full-bodied, rich, supple, textured. Concentrated dark fruit flavours, blackberry, cherry. Dark chocolate. Silky smooth tannins. Finish is long and luscious with hints of toasty oak and black cherry acidity.

Impressions: My first impression is that this is a ready to drink cali red with rich fruit flavours and supple textures but with balance and finesse. It’s a wine that is not ashamed to say that it’s Californian. I like the blend of the three AVAs allowing each to compliment and contrast each other to create a wine that won’t overwhelm or fall flat or weigh too heavy on the palate. I had this with my usual “picnic fare” of Drunken Goat cheese, some smoked gouda, Genoa Salami and prosciutto di Parma. My favourite combo was with the smoked gouda and salami with a bit of prosciutto. The texture of the wine really complimented that of the cheese and salami and the tannins helped to cut through the oiliness. I really want to try this with a nice rib eye as well. Afterall my first encounter with Hess was their single vineyard Cab with a nice piece of 21 day aged rib eye at Mustards in Napa.

My overall assessment of the Hess Select Cab is that, for the money it’s a darn good value, offering up wonderful fruit flavours with great balance and rich textures. I will buy again!

Cheers and keep tasting!