Monthly Archives: February 2014

Robert Mondavi Private Selection 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (3 out of 5)

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This is the last bottle of D’s wine cabal that he got me for the holidays. To think, all this time, I’ve been sipping this wine everytime F and I go to Lone Star, because Mondavi is their house wine. It’s no secret I’m a merlot mama, but I think Mondavi’s merlot is a bit too strong, even for the likes of me. I’d been drinking the cab with F, because she really likes it as well, and it’s more flavorful. It will still mess me up, yes, but I don’t have a splitting headache after the fact, a symptom that the merlot varietal provides me with the few times I’ve had it. I much prefer the cabernet of the two Mondavi wines I’ve had in the past few months.  D got me this one so I had a new one to try and review.

When I uncorked the bottle, I got a noseful of berry smell with some spice undertones. One hour later, that bouquet was matched by sublime tastes of blackberry, plum, and cassis. I’ve been running into this combo quite a bit recently,more specifically, in the Meritage that D picked up for me a few weeks back. The wine packs a punch, but not so bad that you’re channeling George Frazier on the ropes or wondering why Dennis Rodman is allowed into South Korea. Once the aerating has been completed, the taste is smooth, mellow, incredibly well balanced. It’s not super fine wine, meaning there are far better cabs out there to be had (if you want one stronger and more blackberry and currant based, try Columbia Crest. That will fuck your shit up, and it’s probably the best one I’ve had. Matt N would agree, that’s probably his all time favorite. Sterling Vineyard also has a good one, and Beaulieu does as well. All are heads up on this one). I guess it comes down to this- if you like cab that will mellow you out and leave  you with a pleasant flavor and no headache, this is the best choice. If you like a cab with more punch and fruit flavor, try one of the three I listed above.

Overall, it works well with beef, ribs, steak. It does NOT work well with spinach salad and tuna, which is what I tried it with at home. Do not do this! I had some dark chocolate with the glass, and THAT did work! I had this with some gluten free pasta and it worked out nicely. There’s some great flavor here, it’s just not full force cabernet. I tend to run on the wilder side of the fence and like the spicier, robust cab. This is for those who like to sip slowly and savor their wine and enjoy, without the unpleasant effects that may accompany an aftertaste. I like it well enough, but it’s not in my top 5 list, more like my top 10 list. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, I did. I just didn’t enjoy it to lights out status, and some days that’s what I’m aiming for. It’s a smooth balanced cabernet, very flavorful, and works well with red meat. It retails for around $10 normally, but again, it depends where you purchase it.

Sterling Vineyards Meritage (5 out of 5)

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This is bottle 2 of D’s Christmas stash to me. I opened it up and had a glass, and promptly forgot that I had more than a glass. It’s that good. No joke. The label is all elegance with the silver lining (literally) and bold script. It’s a sexy looking bottle of wine. It would make any table look attractive, much the same way that mustard really is the answer to a true Chicago hot dog.

Sterling Vineyard’s Meritage is a complex blend of the following varietals: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc (that still makes me think of Frankenfurter from Rocky Horror). It’s a 13.5% alcohol content, and you know it pretty quickly when you uncork that sucker. It’s ridiculously pungent. After letting it aerate for a hour, still the same presence. That’s how you know you have a truly whopper of a blend. And it was.

The tasting notes? I taste blackberry, chocolate, and vanilla. There is something else there that I cannot identify, although I really want to say it’s cassis. It has a taste similar to the Promisqous that I reviewed last week, as far as aftertaste goes. I really do think it’s cassis. There is a hint of spice here also, but not so much that it ends up overpowering the wine. It is delicious.  There is a lot of complexity and strength to this wine, but it isn’t dry as hell. Many red blends I have had in the past were dry, dry, dry. This is a pleasantly fruity tasting, stronger than average blend.

The wine retails normally at $14.99, so it is on the more expensive side of my wine budget these days, but how do you not enjoy and happily drink such a wonderful gift? I haven’t had a glass since Saturday, and once I get past whatever digestive parasite is currently lodging in my system, I will go right back to this. I highly recommend this wine.

Promisqous Wine (4 out of 4)

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Last Saturday was an awful day. I had a whopper of a bomb dropped upon myself before I even left the house to go to work. Work helped, but so did wonderful friends. My friend D, who makes many an appearance here through his introducing wines to me (PS- He also gave me the suggestion of “Sipping Sentiments” for a wine blog. Huzzah), had been out of commission on his own ring in the solar system known as “No CarVille” for the past couple of months. He finally got his wheels back and informed me he had many gifts for me( Peter Torkmas, my bday, and New Years), including some wine. He wasn’t joking- this was the first of 3 new wines to try. It took me almost a whole week to drink it on and off (D and I opened this one right away. The name in itself, plus Nelly Furtado’s song, made me do so. D had a glass also).  

Promisquous has a normal label and appearance, although I would say it’s classier than some of the other wines I’ve seen lodging on Walfart shelves as of late. The fact that it was spelled wrong, well, that gave me pause, but I was so glad to see new wine that I quickly stopped caring. It is a 100% California table wine. The label gives away nothing as far as what the blend is, so I have to guess. It creates quite the sensory experience when you open it. We let it aerate about a hour, and that sucker still packed a punch as far as fragrance goes. 

First taste? Holy crap, that’s a pizza waiting for this wine. D and I had gluten free pasta with meat sauce, and it worked perfectly. Once I settled into the wine a little bit more, I spent quite a bit of time deciphering what was in it as far as taste goes. Balance is good, it’s not too vinegary, nor was it too stuffy and oaky to have a presence. It definitely has a presence. It also, unlike what the website said, is NOT a sweet wine, so that has to be the white companion to this wine that they are describing.There is definitely some super pepper and spice going on, it’s a very spicy wine. There is some cassis, there is some dark berry, although, honestly, I cannot figure out which berry or what berries that may be. It honestly shouldn’t matter so much as it is delicious!

The tannins are evenly balanced, it doesn’t long linger on the palate. It also doesn’t make you see three heads on one person’s shoulders. It packs a nice, evenly balanced tidal wave of dark berries and spice. The label didn’t say much as far as alcohol content, but it gives a nice buzz. i can say that it goes well with pasta, would likely spin with glitter disco shoes if paired with BBQ ribs, and with dark chocolate, an orgasm may be achieved. Which is really not too surprising with a Promisqous wine.