Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2005My search for excellent cheap Cabernet Sauvignon continues with another selection from the Colchagua Valley province in Chile.  I’ve been finding a number of fascinating Cabs from Colchagua Valley and with excellent wits.  It has been characterized as the next Napa Valley as its characteristics are very similar to Napa Valley 50 years ago.  The soil, water and climate make near-perfect conditions for vineyards.Root:1  from Viña Ventisquero is a fantastic example of the exciting yet affordable wines appearance from the Colchagua Valley.
The first thing you’ll notice about Root:1 is one of the most striking and memorable bottle designs I’ve seen in ages.  There is no missing this one on the shelves.  The deep, ruby-red affect of the wine is just as striking as the bottle design.
I’ve heard a lot of people talking about Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon and it is very well loved, although the 2005 vintage seems to be a like it or despise it wine.  Specifically, I reckon this is all due to the nose—which is very intense and a bit different from what you’re probably used to.
It’s different in that there is a strong spearmint aroma on the nose.  I found it fascinating, but a bit too intense at first which is why I would recommend decanting this one for a half hour or so previous to drinking it. That will take the edge off of the intensity.  You’ll also find currants, vanilla and a bit of leather on the nose.
The palate is double-jointed and creamy with plum, cherry, dark chocolate and cinnamon flavors.  The concentration on the palate is outstanding for an $11 bottle of wine.  It has a nice, long and silky end with hints of cedar.
I loved this bottle of wine and gave it a 90, but I can see why some people would be place off my the nose.  I’d recommend getting one bottle to try and if you like it, get some more.
Wine: Root:1
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2005
Alcohol: 14%
Rating: 90
Fee Paid: $10.99 Read more

Chardonnay in a Box?

Chardonnay in a Box?Try wines that the average consumer may be worried to try.  I know there are some hidden gems out there, and I want to learn them and share them with all of you.
Today I tried something new: French Rabbit Chardonnay.  French Rabbit comes in a box.  What?  You in fact drank boxed wine?  Yes, I did.  I’m not one to get hung up on stereotypes.  Most people assume that wine in a box is terrible wine, but many also believe that just because a wine has a screw top or a plastic cork that it’s terrible.  I know I’ve had some fabulous wines with screw tops and plastic corks, so why not give this boxed wine a try?  And technically this packaging isn’t a box, it’s a Tetra Pak.
French Rabbit is in fact the next generation of boxed wine… or, um… Tetra Pak wine.  It’s a bit different from the boxed wine of the 80′s and 90′s with the spigot on the box.  French Rabbit is made by a companionship named Boisset America, and their focus is environmentally friendly wine producing.  From the farming to the packaging, they strive to be ecologically friendly and I applaud them for that.
Unfortunately, while I admire their environmental aspirations, the wine didn’t win me over.  It didn’t have much flavor to it.  It had a bit of fruitiness, apple and citrus.  But it also had a slightly plasticy flavor to it (I assume this was from the packaging).  Perhaps it was a psychological thing, but I doubt it.  I was in fact really curious and was hoping that I would delight in the wine more.  The largest problem was that the flavor lacks the personality of the marketing around it.
One thing I did like is that the package is a full liter versus 750ml.  The packaging is also supposedly 100% recyclable, although if I place this into my recycling bin with a bunch of glass bottles, I would bet money that they recycling truck would take the glass bottles and leave this thing in the bin.  I don’t know if I’ll try another varietal from French Rabbit.  We’ll see.

We were also found by phrases: Read more

Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Rosengarten Kabinett

Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Rosengarten KabinettTonight we’re continuing our look at riesling, and heading back to Germany.  This one from Weingut Josef Leitz is from the Rheingau province of Germany.  Rheingau basically translates to mean “Rhine province” and this province is situated along the banks of the Rhine river.  Riesling is also the dominant grape here, accounting for nearly 80% of wine grapes grown in this province.
Like many winemaking families in Germany, the Leitz family has a long description of winemaking — dating back to 1744.  But there have been some disruptions to that tradition over the years and it hasn’t always been a primary focus of the family.  But since 1985 it has been, when Johannes Leitz took over the winery.  And within the past 10 years, the winery has grown dramatically.
One thing that can be a bit challenging with this wine is the name.  It’s not atypical for German wines to have ridiculously long names.  But as terrible as this one looks, it’s not that hard to say.  Try it.  Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Rosengarten Kabinett.
This riesling is also a small more expensive than our predictable wines here, with a suggested retail of $22.00.  But with that as the “suggested” fee, there’s a excellent chance that it in fact sells for below 20 bucks. Read more