Life is a Cabernet Wine Reviews



 

 

1997 - Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

It was the best of times and the worst of times...

Aug 28, 2008
1 star 1 star

Well, with the recent talk here on WineZap, I pulled out the last bottle of 1997 Silver Oak Napa. Removed the cork and all was well. Poured the wine and still had a deep garnet red color. Swirled in the glass and then a wiff..."Oh no" I thought. And with a taste, my fears were being lived. Past peak and on the down hill slide.

My wife suggested running a glass through the vinturi....it helped...a little. After about 30 minutes, some character came back, but nothing like I remember.

The nose was muted. A hint of oak and an earthiness, followed by alcohol. On the palate, some berries came through but severely lacked the 'normal' strong blackberry flavors from this Silver Oak.

Suggest to drink now or risk never drinking... :+(

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1996 - Van Asperen Merlot Merlot

On the decline, and time to drink up

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star

Had this wine for the first time years ago at a local restaurant in San Jose, CA. Enjoyed the 1995 Cab as well at the same place. Enjoyed both so much I drove to Napa and picked up a case of each. 5 bottles of the Merlot remain..and it is time to drive...and maybe even dispose of some.

I had not opened a bottle of this in 3 or 4 years. The color is fading...almost a Pinot Noir color and lacking any opaqueness. With just a splash in the glass, sort of a blood orange color with an overall dark burnt orange color. At first I thought it may just have been a bad bottle. Checked the cork and everything looked fine and the oder was not foul.

The scent was heavily subdued from what I remembered of this wine. More floral now than fruit nosed. Slight prune and cherry licorice comes through.

On the palate, mostly the alcohol comes through. There is 'some sort of fruit' there but the alcohol ,and 'hotness' from that, is overwhelming.

Very disappointing. I will open another bottle this weekend and see if perhaps this was an anomaly or if this wine is now well past its prime. I'll update the review if I find anything different. Previouslt this would have been a 3.75 start wine. The Cab was a firm 4 for me.

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2006 - Elderton Semillon Riverina Botrytis Semillon

Decent screw cap dessert wine...

May 20, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

Picked this one up at the Utah State liquor store on a whim. Color was a light amber, just a little darker than straw. Not as viscous as the Dolce or its French siblings. I was a little surprised to see a 2006 so soon and looked over the bottle to be sure that it was not an ice wine. The nose was a bit non-descript. The closest thing I could come up with was 'petrol' or almost a subtle vasoline scent. Not exactly what I would call appealing. On the palate, the sweetness was not overwhelming and this wine has a solid acidity with a true citrisy note on the relatively short finish of about 10-15 seconds. Floral notes, honey and only a slight botrytis note came through.

Not sure I'd buy again, but might be fun for friends doing a bleu cheese tasting. As a stand alone dessert wine, C+

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2003 - Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Good wine, but not their best effort

May 20, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Having visited Jordan on a recent trip (highly recommended, by the way) we decided to open a 2003. Probably should have decanted for 30-45 minutes since a lot of the fruit is still buried in this wine. The color was a deep red, almost purple with dark pink on the rim. Nose was smokey, mix of red and black berries and my wife found some cherries in there. On the palate, the tannins were a bit brisk which led me to give it some time in the glass for a second taste. The fruit started coming forward, blackberries and a hint of plum and the oak was slightly more subdued. Very nice wine, but one I would suggest decanting if opening now.
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2004 - Phelps, Joseph Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Reliable effort from Phelps!

May 20, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Great wine, beautiful color, deep rich opaque garnet color. Nose of blackberries, cassis, black olives, and a *hint* of vanilla. On the palate, the wine had a nice mid length finish with more black fruit flavors and an earthy sort of garden soil nature. An olive flavor came through about 5-10 seconds followed by the loamy smoothness. 4 glasses later...I debated opening another bottle, but decided to hold that thought for another time.
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2002 - Andrew Will Cabernet Sauvignon Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Sauvignon

Love this Andrew Will Red!

Jan 30, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This was a great bottle of wine, in the $50 range. Deep red color, and mostly opaque. The nose was fragrant with cedar hints and a slight sweetness. The palate was lush with tons of ripe blackberries. This wine almost had a 'Rutherford dust' like feel in the mouth. It coated my palate completely and was dry with firm tannins. Decanting may have been a good idea.

A blend of 44% Merlot, 28% Cab Franc, 18% Cab Sauvignon, and 10% Petite Verdot and 14.4% alcohol.

Would definitely buy this wine again!

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2003 - Climens  Sauternes Blend

Heaven in a bottle, part duex

Jan 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

My first Climens and I look forward to more int he future, especially a 2001.

A pale gold color, almost 'post-it note' yellow. Much more viscous than the Dolce, though not syrupy.

Nose: boytritis, green apples, pears, honey (only a hint)

Palate: Sweet and tasty. A bit of a sugary grittiness lined my palate. Almost a fruit cocktail-like myriad of flavors. Nice finish and no lingering acidity like with the '94 Dolce.

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1994 - Dolce (Far Niente) Late Harvest  Proprietary Blend

Heaven in a bottle...well almost

Jan 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Having spent much of 2007 putting together a full vertical of Dolce, it was time to start sampling over the holidays. The 1994 being the most recently procured, I started there.

Lovely golden color, almost a maize brilliance. Not nearly as viscous as the 2001 I had a few months back.

Nose: slightly honeyed, pineapple, peaches, and pears. It took several approaches for me to discern the aromas as nothing was too overwhelming.

Palate: Smooth and succulent with pear and pineapple on the front and an almost lemony acidity on the backend bringing a bit of a pucker. Not as sweet as I would have liked, medium to medium-low. Surprisingly long finish. Remnants of the acidity lingered for 10+ minutes.

A delightful wine. Not what I was expecting since having the 2001, but I'm certainly looking forward to tasting all the others and comparing to find a favorite year.

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2003 - Trefethen Merlot Merlot

Oak Knoll District Merlot...tasty but could have been so much more

Nov 13, 2007
1 star 1 star 1 star
Deep red/garnet color and medium legs. Nose of blackberries and raspberries, oak, oak, and oak. Palate continued the oak, but not as smoky as the nose; more of a sweet oak. Ripe fruits, earth, and a mostly dry finish. Decent wine overall, but the oak was maybe just a bit much that overwhelmed the rest of the aromas and flavors.
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2005 - MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

MacMurray Pinot...worth a try

Nov 13, 2007
1 star 1 star 1 star
Gorgeous medium translucent red color that actually fades to near clearness at the edge. Not very leggy. Nose of rasberries and ripe strawberries and an earthy overtone. Palate of medium ripe red fruits and odd tannins...not sweet nor firm which detracts from the wine. 10 minutes in air softened the wine a bit but finish was quite short. Overall, a decent effort and worth a try, but not overwhelming by a long shot.
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2006 - Yalumba Late Harvest Viognier Viognier

An Aussie sweetie

Nov 13, 2007
1 star 1 star 1 star
This sweet dessert wine is a good value at around $15 per half bottle. Very very light yellow color and not very viscous. Melons, honey, green apples on the nose. Lightly sweet palate, hints of pineapple, honeydew, and honey with a moderate acidity. 30 second finish which ends with a bit of a lemon-like tang. Overall, a can't miss for the price.
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9998 - Buller, R L Premium Fine Muscat Muscat

A buttery 'red' sweet dessert wine???

Nov 08, 2007
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This 'white' wine has a gorgeous mahogany color and thick like pure maple syrup. The nose has raisins, ripe plums, and a fairly strong alcohol (since this wine comes in at 18%). Once hitting the palate, this wine has an intense buttery flavor and spices (vanilla and nutmeg) bloom. The oak is fairly pronounced. Nice long finish. Great for sipping in front of a fire or enjoying with a nice crème brulee.

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2002 - Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Gotta love Silver Oak

Oct 18, 2007
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

I'm a Silver Oak 'junkie,' I must admit. Opening their wine is never disappointing!

Color: This wine is a deep garnet, with bright, pink edges

Nose: You can definitely smell the oak, blackberries, and perhaps a tiny hint of chocolate? Evolved over the 30 minutes or so in the glass to a slightly sweeter oak/smokey scent.

Palate: Smooth with a moderate finish. Ripe fruits, blackberries, cherries, and a slight hint of tobacco. Coats the tongue nicely.

If you've never had Silver Oak, it is a *must try* wine! And visit the wineries in Alexander Valley and Oakville! The AV winery folks were incredibly nice and generous with their time and wine!

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1967 - Chateau Suduiraut  Sauternes Blend

The good, the bad, and the ugly....

Oct 18, 2007
1 star 1 star 1 star

I opened this bottle last week for my birthday and was excited to give it a go. Well, the excitement quickly vanished upnon peeling back the foil and finding significant signs of leakage. The cork was a mess...

The wine was slightly tainted, but only slightly.

Color: Rich carmel hues as a 40 year old Sauternes should be

Nose: Sweet, not overwhelming with anything other than a bit of pear and slight smoke

Palate: Only slightly sweet, viscous and smooth, short and disappointing finish. Nothing really stood out flavor-wise. A little acidic or alcohol 'tickle' on the tongue ont he finish.

Perhaps the quality of the bottle had been too compromised or maybe at 40, it was beyond its prime. I have one other bottle, which I may open sooner, rather than later. I'll update this review, shoudl the outcome be better.

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2004 - Stuhlmuller Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Great $30ish Cab - Stuhlmuller Vineyards

Oct 08, 2007
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Opened a bottle of this wine last week and was very pleasantly surprised. Wine was sampled alone, not with any food.

Color: Deep ruby red, almost opaque

Nose: floral, cassis, a hint of smoke and maybe black cherries

Palate: Sweet oak, red and black fruits, and a hint of red licorice.

Very tasty wine, especially for those who love a good red which hints of residual sugar. A little weak on the finish at maybe 10 seconds or so and not overly complex. At 14.5% alcohol, that sweetness comes most likely from the barreling. Per the bottle, 2278 case produced.

Me, I am picking up a case.... :+)

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