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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2007 Abacela Port

The 2007 Abacela Port wine is a blend of 5 Douro grape varietals - Tempranillo (53%), Bastardo (19%), Tinta Amarela (13%), Tinta Cao (9%) and Touriga Nacional (6%).  This opaque purple wine is ricly textured and has aromas of blackberry, raisin, spice, chewy figs and dried apricot.  The alcohol content is well within check for a port at 19% and this young wine is not fumey or hot at all.  In fact, it is incredibly smooth and silky, leaving you wanting more with each sip.  The dried fruits and rich flavorful black fruits shine through on the palate, combined with cocoa powder, soft ripe plums and blueberry.  Historically many young ports can be difficult to enjoy and require years of cellaring before they can be tasted appropriately.  The good folks at Abacela have created a port that is not only approachable now, but one of the best that I have tasted in many months.  I would suggest buying a few bottles - one to enjoy now and then cellar the others for awhile to see what flavors develop further.  This wine would be a perfect match for a three layer chocolate fudge cake, but I tasted it on its own mertit and I was blown away.  Tasted from a 375ml bottle.

About Abacela:
Abacela produces the following Iberian wines:  Albarino, Garnacha, Port, Rosado and three Tempranillo wines.  They also produce Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah and Viognier.  Visit their web site to check out their huge (and flavorful) offering!

ABV:  19.0%
AVA:  Umpqua Valley
Cases Produced:  400 (375 ml), 57 (750 ml)
Retail Price:  $25.00 (375 ml), $50.00 (750 ml)
Score:  93

2010 Stave 28 Riverstone Sauvignon Blanc

When winemaker and owner Michael Weyna set out to make a Sauvignon Blanc, he was looking to make a summer sipping wine for around his house to share with family and friends.  Maybe he didn't realize then that he would have such a winner on his hands, but he does!  This 100% Sauvignon Blanc is pale straw color in the glass with hints of light greenish blue on the edge.  Tasting this slightly chilled, this wine presents aromas of lemongrass, catbox, lime, and just a hint of mineral.  The wine is very light and could actually be considered a thirst quencher for those hot summer days.  Mid palate this wine opens up with some slightly sweet buttercream candy flavors, but the citrus and vanilla flavors are on top and the combination provides some richness to the wine with a very crisp and memorable finish.  This wine was just released!

ABV:  13.2%
AVA:  Alexander Valley
Retail Price:  $16.00
Score:  87

2008 Stave 28 Echo Red Wine

The 2008 vintage of Echo is a red wine blend from Stave 28.  This wine meticulously blends Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  Initially the aromas presented in this medium ruby red wine are fresh strawberry pie, vanilla, sweet wood and the stems of light bell peppers.  With some time in the glass and air on the wine, a violet floral aroma develops and adds to the intrigue of this Bordeaux style of blend.  This wine is delicate to medium bodied in the mouth and the tannins are well rounded and polished to provide a very pleasing tasting that lingers in the mouth.  Flavors of black and red fruits, cherry pipe tobacco, a hint of leather and pencil lead combine well but none of the flavors dominate the others or are out of line.  There is an earthy flavor and mild spice towards the back of the palate that bring everything in line superbly.

Check out this cool video of Michael Weyna of Stave 28 from the Cellar Angels!  Stave 28 video from Cellar Angels

ABV:  14.3%
AVA:  Alexander Valley
Retail Price:  $22.00
Score:  90

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2000 Kathryn Kennedy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The Kathryn Kennedy Winery produces their estate Cabernet Sauvignon, and it is something not to be missed!  I have been a fan of the wines produced by Kathryn Kennedy and winemaker Marty Mathis for a few years now, and I'm thrilled to have stumbled upon them about four years ago.  The 2000 vintage is a dark red stunning show of an old world style of wine.  If you're looking for a Cabernet with a lot of muscle and big chewy tannins, you won't find that here.  What you'll find is a more reserved Bordeaux style of wine with a gentle and refined feel in the mouth.  This wine has plenty of berry and cherry aromas with currant that is structured by a backbone of oak.  In the mouth is pure elegance.  The reserved flavors of cherry, currant, blackberries and bittersweet chocolate blend well to provide sheer enjoyment with tannins that are smartly integrated in the mouth and provide a very defined and lingering finish. 

About Kathryn Kennedy Winery:
The Kathryn Kennedy Winery produces wonderful wines and they make their home in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Their estate Cabernet Sauvignon is thier flagship wine, and these wines are purchasing at release and cellaring for many years of enjoyment.  The Kathryn Kennedy Winery is the May 2011 Winery of the Month at Midwest Wine Guy.  Contact the winery directly for purchase information on this and all of their incredible wines.

ABV:  13.8%
AVA:  Santa Cruz Mountains
Cases Produced:  700
Retail Price:  $165.00
Score:  93

2006 Kathryn Kennedy Lateral

The 2006 vintage of the Lateral label by Kathryn Kennedy Winery is a wonderful Bordeaux inspired red wine.  The 2006 is a smart and tasty blend of Merlot (54%), Cabernet Franc (17%), Cabernet Sauvignon (17%), Petit Verdot (6%) and Malbec (6%).  I have tasted several vintages of Lateral and it has been consistently great over the years, and offered at an attractive price point.  This wine is medium red in the glass.  On the nose is a combination of fan favorites - dark red fruits, country earth, tar, and flowers.  In the mouth is a smooth and welcoming flavor experience of red raspberry, black berry, dusty leather, and warm vanilla cookies.  There are noticeable offerings of cedar and spice to round out the well integrated and polished tannins. 

About Kathryn Kennedy Winery:
Kathryn Kennedy Winery is the May 2011 Winery of the Month at Midwest Wine Guy.  Check out the story on this web site!

ABV:  14.5%
Appellation:  California
Retail Price:  $36.00
Score:  91