Sunday, June 30, 2013
'08 Nicklaus and '10 Montoya Cabernets + Others
Far better, at least at this stage, was the 2008 Nicklaus Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. This private label wine (made by Terlato) shows a faded cranberry color with aromas of maple syrup, brown sugar and sweet cherries. Nicely balanced with a hint of bell pepper and sweet cedar flavors on the palate. Long, sweet finish. About $30 on release, but purchased on close-out for $10.
More recent tastes include the 2011 Sean Minor Sauvignon Blanc, California which I found to be more tart, lemony and herbaceous than previous renditions of this wine when it carried a Sonoma County appellation (and a lot more sweet, tropical fruit). That being said, it was very refreshing with a salad tossed with a Dijon-ranch dressing and topped with grilled chicken breast. Still an excellent value at $11.
Less satisfying with the same meal was the 2012 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Blanca D.O. Terra Alta. Not a bad wine, but just too much focus on mineral and sea breeze notes and nearly devoid of fruit. About $10.
Tonight we enjoyed the deeply intense 2011 Tarima Monastrell, D.O. Vinos Alicante with hamburgers off the grill. Opaque, slightly cloudy color gives way to a complex nose of coffee, bittersweet cocoa, mulling spices, pomegranate and licorice. Wonderful chalky, leesy texture on the palate with leathery pomegranate fruit and more licorice. Great balance of tannins and fruit, but I wouldn't bother trying to age this into anything better than it is right here and now. I think this could easily stand up to heartier fare; including venison and lamb. At $10, this reinforces my notion that the world's best wine values hail from Spain.