Tag Archives: Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine(s) of the Week – 2 for Summer Sipping


As we move toward late Spring/early Summer, we’re still drinking red wines as well as moving into the whites and rosés that sing of summer. Here are two that fit the season well – not overly rich and heavy, but well balanced. Both are wines that offer value to the restaurant and the consumer as the price points are modest ($10 retail range) and both are well made and a good fit for every day drinking.

GNARLY HEAD Malbec – Grown in Argentina (Mendoza) in vineyards located in the high eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the wine offers a nose of dark berries – think blueberry and blackberry. The 2016 vintage saw what its winemakers call an “outstanding harvest” with bold, juicy concentrated fruit. It’s a big wine for a small price, 13.5 percent ABV, and somewhat like Argentinian Zinfandels in style. The name is for the gnarly vines of the grapes that twist around. This particular harvest was deemed “outstanding, exciting and somewhat unexpected.” It’s a nice surprise for a relatively inexpensive bottle to offer such depth of flavor. Visit www.gnarlyhead.com.


SMOKING LOON – This Cabernet Sauvignon is a product of Chile, imported and bottled by Smoking Loon Winery in Napa, CA. Rich and savory, it’s well balanced with notes of blueberry, dried cherry, and a hint of nuts, black raspberry, red currant and notes of vanilla and even coconut. It’s aged in American oak and is 13.5 percent ABV. Check it out at www.smokingloon.com.

Wine of the Week – Reyneke Vinehugger 2014

Reyneke wines from Stellenbosh, South Africa are produced by Johan Reyneke, Jr. who began in 1998 and developed an organic approach to winemaking, eventually moving to using biodynamic principles.

His approach was groundbreaking at the time when he first began making Reyneke Wines Stellenbosch.This moderately priced ($17.98 SRP) wine, Reyneke Vinehugger 2014, is deep red and fruity with a nose of currants, blackberry, bell pepper, plum, spice, oak, and ginger. On the nose, it offers hints of currant, blackberry cherry, cedar, cigar box, violet, rose, earth, truffles, coffee and leather. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%) and Merlot (50%).

Reyneke believes in allowing the wine to speak for itself and express the farm’s unique situation without chemical enhancements. This one is 13.5% ABV. We’ve been a fan of Reyneke’s wines for quite a few years now, enjoying their freshness and fruitiness. We find this one to deliver excellent value on a wine by the glass list. In the U.S., The Indigo Wine Group, Venice, FL is the importer.

Wine of the Week – Josh Cellars 2014 Cabernet Sauvigon

The founder of Josh Cellars, a California winery, Joseph Carr, notes that other wine growers he considers friends helped “handcraft” the first vintage of the winery, made just for each other. This Cabernet is, he says, “true to that first wine we made” in that it’s expressive and bold and yet smooth and approachable.

Approachability is important to this winemaker who says he makes this wine for his customers and their families.

It’s 13.5 percent ABV and $1 of this and all the winery’s vintages goes to the National Volunteer Fire Council to support volunteer firemen. His dad was one and to date, he’s raised more than $300,000.

This wine, from California’s premium wine growing regions, is rich in dark fruits, currents, clove and oak with hints of roasted almonds, vanilla and hazelnuts, Carr notes. You’ll appreciate its structure and firm tannins. Go to www. Joshcellars.com.


Wine of the Week – Check out wines from Moldova

Moldova is one of the world’s top 10 grape and wine producers, yet here in the West, we aren’t familiar with their wines. We had the good fortune to taste some at the 25th Annual Boston Wine Expo this past weekend.
Moldova is well known in Eastern Europe and Russia. It is located in between Romania and the Ukraine and shares the same latitude with Burgundy in France. Blessed with short, fairly mild winters, and long hot summers, it is ideal for wine making. Its vintages are, the winemakers tell us, “natural, rid and complex.”

We liked the Cricova Prestige Cabernet Sauvignon which is aged in medium toast oak barrels, largely from the Carpathian Mountain range. It’s rich in tannins, is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and is well balanced and velvety. Check them out from Vin Distributors in West Springfield, MA. Cricova’s underground wine cellars are a draw for wine lovers and tourists in Moldova at the winery which has been around since 1952.



Wine of the Week- Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

By now, most people who follow us know we love South African wines and this gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon from Rustenberg in Simonsberg-Stellenbosch on South Africa’s Cape is our latest discovery. Rich in dark berry fruit, good tannins and a fine structure, it is a winner. The vintage  matured in French oak for 15 months. Serve with red meats – it is the perfect pairing – or sip by itself. If you love Cabs, you will want to try this one! It is imported by Indigo Wine Group in Venice, FL. Go to www.rustenberg.co.za

Wine of the Week – Gloria’s “Old Vines” Cailin’s Cuvee 2010

Cailin’s Cuvee 2010 from Gloria’s Old Vines on California’s North Coast is a tribute to a real little girl, Cailin Elizabeth Calllaghan. daughter of the winery’s Managing Partner John Callaghan, celebrating her birth. With limited production – only 87 cases – it’s another example of the quality and value that is coming from small California producers these days.
We love it for its bright fruit, well crafted to make a highly drinkable, modestly priced wine that delivers quality. Old vines produce a lower yield of superior quality grapes.