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Two Cabs, Two Price Points, Two Winners

Here’s a tale of two reds, Cabernet Sauvignon to be exact.  One is a little older and a lot more expensive.  One is a little younger and a very nice eveyday red.  There are things to like about both wines, so you won’t find much negative in these notes, just good wine.  Here they are:

0104141234Wine:  2006 Simi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley                                 

Winery Location:  Sonoma

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri                             Date:    Jan 2014

Tasting Notes:     We have a few of these we put down a couple of years ago, and this is the second one we’ve opened.  Two years ago it was a tannic beast, but you could look past that and taste the fruit and appreciate what it could become.  This time was a much more pleasurable experience.  The wine has had a chance to integrate and soften, and the result was worth the wait.  It’s really a dark purple with red rims, and on the nose dark fruits pervade, with some menthol and a little oak char.  It’s nice and complex, and that carries through to the palate as the dark fruits coat your mouth.  Black cherry seemed to pop out for me.  Some subtle wood plays here as well.  It is full bodied, very long and one quality bottle of wine.  The harshness has faded from the tannins but they are still there holding up the wine and promising many more years of life.  We loved this.

Price Point –   We bought half a case for $25 a bottle back in the day, now it’s a $50 wine.

Would We Buy It? – if we could get it for $25 I’d buy a case.  At $50 it’s worth it, it’s just not a screaming value there as you expect a pretty damn good wine for $50 retail.  We’ll probably just enjoy the bottles we have left and not replenish the stock.  It is drinking very well though, and if you’re looking for something in that price range it is a good choice.

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CIMG2355Wine:  2011 J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery Location:  Paso Robles California

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri                             Date:    Jan 2014

Tasting Notes:     let’s switch gears, or at least price points, for a moment and talk about what is generally a pretty good value and consistently enjoyable, and that is the J. Lohr Seven Oaks cab.  We’ve had this wine many times over the past 7 or 8 years, and it is generally going to be good value and good wine.  This is no exception.  The label lists “velvety” as one of its characteristics, and we would tend to agree.  It is very smooth and round.  The color is deep red/purple and there is rich fruit on the nose.  Currants and cherry abound, and the wine is medium+ bodied on the palate with characteristic California Cabernet flavors.  It is built to drink now, but won’t go south if you leave it around for a year or two.  Not the most complex wine in the world, but easy drinking and solid.

Price Point –   $11.  You’ll probably see it on sale occasionally for less.

Would We Buy It?  – we would, we did, and probably will again.  This is a good wine to have around and makes an excellent house wine, unless your wine budget is a lot bigger than ours.  Excellent value here.

There you have it, two wines, two cabs, two worth buying but one is more a special occasion wine where the other is an everyday type.  You need both types to get through life, if not these then some of the countless other wines out there.

A votre sante!

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