The holidays are wrapping up and if you’re like me, you had chances to drink some great wines that are being saved for special occasions. More often than not, those wines are also higher in price. When selecting wine for a holiday party/wine tasting I wanted to make sure my selections were a bit more reflective of more than typical wine prices. A wine which has had my eye for sometime has been the Crane Family Vineyard’s 2006 Alison’s Cuvée Red Wine and would r0und out the mid-high price position perfectly.
The Wine: I had done my homework on this particular wine. The fact this wine had no barcode can be a tall tale sign the wine is from a smaller more limited production winery – only 185 cases were made of this particular wine. The Crane Family Vineyard real close to Mt. Veeder (I’m still riding high on this AVA after tasting Spotted Owl Vineyard’s 2007 Mountain Cuvée) I like. (Click here for the 2007 Alison’s Cuvée tasting notes from the Crane Family Website) The 2007 notes are the EXACT same notes/review as the 2006, minus a little tech data changing. I wish they would have invested the time to review their own wine with more thought. The notes say Cabernet Franc was used in making this blend, but Cab Franc is not listed in the grapes used? Dislike.
The Experience: One word could describe this experience: Lackluser. I’m sure the nose on this wine was not just really tight but rather just had no real presence. The palate is the exact same as the nose, it forgot to show up. The wine also seemed very thin, which was odd considering in the wine’s Napa origins. I was not alone in finding this wine massively disappointing; others were making the same observations without hearing my opinion. At least the tightly wound Petit Sirah we tasted hit you with mega tannin bomb. Crane’s Bordeaux style may have just been missed by not just me, but everyone else, including a Frenchman! I think it’s important to mention here that the Crane Family’s website lists this wine at $70 and TJ’s has it for $30.
The Bottom Line: Next-Wine-Please
If I saw this wine in your hand before purchasing it I would ask you:
- Have you tried this wine?
- If yes, what do you like about it?
- If no, would you like to save some money?
Being the ever optimist, I have to say one good thing about this wine; if you seek a soft wine, this could be a wine to try. It was way out of its league at our tasting of far more substantial wines. I don’t see the three cases of this wine to clearing the shelves of my TJ’s anytime soon…
I would like to try other offerings from the Crane Family Vineyards despite this wine.
Question: Has anyone tried this wine and found it a great value at its $30 price point? Or other Crane Family offerings? I’d love to hear your input!
Wine Dork Info:
- Napa AVA
- Cases Produced – 185
- Alcohol: 13.5%
- Grape Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc?
- pH: 3.51 at Harvest/3.70 at Bottling
- Total Acid (TA): 0.53 g/L at Harvest/0.61 g/L at Bottling
- Residual Sugar (RS): Dry