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Wines of the Week, Jan 19-24, 2013

The previous week we opened three wines that varied all over the map.  Our consumption is down a bit as we hopped back on the South Beach Phase 1 diet to lose a few unwanted holiday induced pounds.  That means no red wine Monday thru Thursday, and the suffering is extreme, but we persevere.  Anyway – the wines were a 2010 Red Blend from Lodi, CA (not our favorite), a 2009 Petite Sirah (really a great value) and a library wine from our cellar, a 2001 Napa Cabernet which was delicious.  Here they are:

2010 Gnarly Head Authentic, 2009 RAvenswood Petite Sirah and the 2001 Sawyer Cabernet

2010 Gnarly Head Authentic, 2009 Ravenswood Petite Sirah and the 2001 Sawyer Cabernet

Tasting notes follow:

Wine:         2010 Gnarly Head Authentic Red          Winery Location:  Lodi, CA

Tasted By:            Neil and Cheri                             Date:     Jan 18, 2013

Tasting Notes:     To be honest this is not one of our favorites.  It drinks a lot like a beaujolais, light and fruity.  Actually it drinks a lot like fruit punch.  There’s no complexity at all, it’s not very long and the nose had a little tinge of astringent for me.  It is supposedly from old vines but doesn’t have any depth of flavor you wold expect from that.  This is a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet, Merlot and a ‘splash’ of Syrah.  All I get is fruity Zin.  In the interest of full disclosure I’ll say I generally don;t like most Zinfandels, so this is at a bit of a disadvantage.  But prove me wrong!

Price Point –    This was 2 for $14, so it’s very affordable.

Would We Buy It?    Nope, especially considering the next wine.  This has got very little going for it unless you really like smooth fruit punchy type wines.  Then it’s great.  Maybe a good summer picnic wine.


Wine:  2009 Ravenswood Vintner’s Blend Petite Sirah         Winery Location:   Sonoma

Tasted By:                 Neil and Cheri                                       Date:     Jan 19, 2013

Tasting Notes:       This is really good.  In fact it’s ridiculously good considering the price.  Dark purple/black in the glass it looks like a big wine.  The nose has brooding dark fruits.  Same for the palate, along with a little smoke and scorched earth.  This is a little Bordeaux like in both aroma and taste.  Full bodied with good length.  A yummy wine.

Price Point –    Also 2 for $14 locally on sale, and this is a steal at the price.  Easily drinks like a wine costing three times as much.  On wine-searcher it can be had for $10, which is still a thing of beauty.  I might have to go back and get a case at the 2 for $14 price point.

Would We Buy It?    Absolutely.  I keep writing how much we like Petite Sirah and this is no exception.  You could make yourself believe this is Bordeaux.


Wine:   2001 Sawyer Cellars Estate Cabernet       Winery Location:   Napa

Tasted By:        Neil and Cheri                                 Date:     Jan 2013

Tasting Notes:  This is a mature wine, and it is delicious.  The bottom of the cork was covered with beautiful deep purple sulfide crystals.  It wasn’t bright red, but had that slightly brownish tinge of an older wine.  Out of the bottle the nose was very restrained, with some red fruit aromas.  It is medium to full bodied and was very long.  After two hours I poured another glass and it was really hitting its stride.  Now there were massive fruit aromas.  They had turned darker and it almost smelled port like. The palate had mouth coating fruit with smooth tannins and the same exceptional length.  This is really excellent if you like mature wines, which we do.  Hell, it was just excellent period.

Price Point –    We paid $25, and I think it’s worth every penny. 

Would We Buy It?   Yes.  This price point falls into our once or twice a month category.  I can live with that and look forward to opening the next bottle.

So there you have it.  A great, great value Petite Sirah and an excellent mature Cabernet.  You can keep the Zinfandel as far as we’re concerned.

A votre sante!

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