March 21, 2012
$11-$20 Price Point, 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon, Kunde Family Estate, Next-Wine-Please!, Sonoma
Cabernet Sauvignon, Kunde Family Estate, Sonoma Valley
Kunde Family Estate 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley
Not all grapes and subsequent wines they produce are equal. Typically wineries have 2-3 tiers of wine varying in qualities and prices. Barrels which don’t make the ‘reserve’ or ‘select’ wines are usually bottled in a more mass produced offering – these are very often the price point wines which make it to grocery store shelves. Without a doubt the Kunde Family Sonoma Valley Cab is their lower end, more mass produced tier. I’ve had several of their ‘premium’ offerings ($25-$35) from Kunde and enjoyed them, so I was looking forward to trying their more widely available, $13 price point wine.
Color: Very deep purple – looks very young still.
Nose: Jammy dark plum, earth, some ‘dustiness’, olives, and a little vanilla.
Palate: The same as the nose but really not that enjoyable due to a disjointing harshness between the elements. On the second day, the finish of the wine really took on a bitter quality. Over extracted seed tannin?
Bottom Line: Next-Wine-Please
At the $13 price point, I think I would consider trying another vintage of this wine or look elsewhere on the shelf. I’m pretty sure this is or close to, ‘last run-juice’. (The last juice from the grape press which is typically less fruity, more tannic) I think you could find more value at the $7-$10 price point or a significantly better wine for $20-25. But I would encourage you to try other Kunde Family Estate wines.
March 7, 2012
$10 Price Point, 2008, Buena Vista, Buy-A-Case, Carneros AVA, Pinot Noir
$10, Buena Vista, Carneros AVA, Pinot Noir
Buena Vista 2008 Pinot Noir Carneros
What do you get when you combine Napa and Sonoma counties? Los Carneros AVA, nestled at the base of the two world famous wine regions. Carneros is the first AVA to be defined by its [cool] climate rather than geography. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive in cool climate, foggy environments, generally resulting in wines with bright acidity. It’s no wonder why so many sparking wine producers have set up shop in this AVA. With so much wine on the market, sometimes a $24 bottle of wine finds itself at $10 on the shelves of Trader Joe’s. Awesome, just the kind of wine I want to try!
Color: A lighter, translucent garnet, ruby red.
Nose: Earthy, earthy, earthy! Mushrooms, minerals, slightly vegetal, some dark berries and as the wine is exposed to air, the oak barreling becomes more pronounced, but in balance.
Palate: Layers of earthiness, some dark fruit, toasted oak, with very bright minerality and acidity. Balanced and NICE!
Bottom Line: Buy-A-Case
Here’s a wine which will introduce new Pinot drinkers to the flavors, lightness yet presence good Pinot can and should have. I’ve tasted Pinots 3x’s the price which don’t show the balance and layers this wine does. If you’re a Pinotphile, you’ll wow your friends with this wine (for $10!!!) and it will make a comendable ‘second bottle’ or wet your whistle for a good Pinot on a Tuesday night. What did you think of this wine?