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.
January 3, 2011
$5-$9 Price Point, 2008, Buy-Half-A-Case, Cabernet Sauvignon, Castle Rock, Columbia Valley, Washington
Castle Rock, Columbia Valley
I first learnt about it from Jeff over at VivaLaWino. Jeff has a descerning palate and knows what he seeks in wine, particularly when it comes to finding both accuracy and interesting qualities in wine. He gave this wine an A/A-. That certainly carries weight with me. My store had yet to get an order of this, so I bought it at a neighboring Trader Joe’s and made sure my store had a few cases on order.
The Wine: The juice comes from the Columbia Valley in Washington state, which is of the same latitude of Bordueax in France but it’s celleared and bottled in Geyserville, California. This is a good opportunity to point out the poor economy has hurt the wine industry. There is a growing base of consumers, but consumers are spending less on single bottles of wine and looking for more value. Premium producers are now making less expensive wines under new labels or selling some of their good grapes for others who can produce good wine at at a good price. This wine is definitely a result of that! Trader Joe’s has been a bastion for some of these wines.
The Experiene: One of the first attributes you look at in a wine is its color. This wine is deep purple with a little red hue. The nice nose is going to treat you to what you expect in a Cabernet Sauvignon, dark berry, vanilla, oak and a little heat from alcohol, but not much ‘dust’ since this isn’t a Napa Cab. The nose provides all it has to offer with nice balance. It reminds me slightly of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ ‘Artemis’ with regards to balance in the nose, but not nearly as focused or refined. In the mouth this wine is simply pleasant and juicy. It’s ready to be consumed now. It presents a great dark berry preserve flavor along with notes of vanilla and gentle tannin structure all experienced seperately.
The Bottom Line: Worth-A-Buy/Buy-Half-A-Case
Here is a killer daily drinker. And it costs $6. I would like for someone to do a blind tasting with this wine against more expensive and cheaper red wines. This wine will stick out. I can’t say this wine would win, but this wine is spot for the palates of both the experienced to novice wine drinker. Not only would I buy one bottle of this, I have already purchased a few.
Question: Do you do blind wine tastings? Are the wines of the same or different price points?
Wine Dork Info:
- Appellation: 100% Columbia Valley grapes
- Wine Maker: August Briggs
- Grape Varietals: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot
- Barrel Aging: 100% French Oak, 18 Months
- Cases Produced: 18,000
- Alcohol: 13.5%
- Brix: Cabernet 23.5, Merlot 25.6
- TA: .57 g/100ml