Monday, February 08, 2010

Warm Cabernets for Cold Winter Nights

It's snowing on the east coast, raining on the west coast, and wintery everywhere in between. Nothing suits this kind of weather better than Cabernet Sauvignon, and I've been tasting my way through a nice selection of Cabernets and Cabernet blends in pursuit of the perfect wines to complement soups, stews, and braises.

If you're looking for a red wine to warm up your winter evenings, look for one of these in a store near you, and try out some of these great recipes while you're at it!

2008 Bodegas Osborne Cabernet-Tempranillo Tempra Tantrum. ($11.99) Tempra Tantrum is a new line of Tempranillo-based from the people at one of Spain's oldest and most venerable wineries. This blend is hip, young, and cheerful (just like its maker!) Made in a modern style, the cherry and leather aromas are a nice prelude to a bright, cherry core with some blackberry depth in the midpalate. Made from 60% Tempranillo and 40% Cabernet, this juicy, fruit-forward wine would be great with grilled lamb dishes or paella--or with a zesty chicken chili. Very good QPR.

2007 Luigi Bosca Cabernet Sauvignon Finca La Linda. ($11) I liked this distinctive Cab from Argentina, with its blackberry and plum blossom aromas. There was a decided note of cigar box in the flavors, along with cherry and plum. The wine's smooth, satiny mouthfeel was accompanied by a mocha-inflected finish. Excellent QPR for those who like traditional, earthy Cabernets.

2007 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County. ($17) This juicy, fruit-forward wine has lots of spice and pepper, which helps it to stay focused. There are abundant, cherry, licorice, and smoky aromas and flavors which makes for an approachable Cab, especially for those who like traditional flavor profiles. Try it with this excellent slow-cooked beef minestrone soup my dad introduced us to. Very Good QPR.

2007 Blackstone Winery Sonoma Reserve Rubric Sonoma County. ($22.99) A wine blended from Cabernet, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Tannat, Merlot, and Petite Sirah it had smoky cherry aromas and a deeper, plummy flavor spectrum. The wine was made brighter with crisp white pepper notes that continued into the aftertaste. Very good QPR, even though the suggested retail is a tad over $20.

2007 Robert Mondavi Winery Meritage Private Selection. ($11) This Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Malbec, and Cab Franc has classic notes of tar, currant, and leather in the aromas. All these lead in to a red currant flavor, which opens up to richer plum and pepper. Give this bottle some time in the decanter, and you'll be very pleasantly surprised. Buy two bottles and make some braised short ribs. Excellent QPR.

2006 Rancho Zabaco Cabernet Sauvignon Dancing Bull. ($12) I'd already tasted this wine last February when it was at an earlier stage of its life cycle. A year on, this tasted quite different. Meaty, cherry aromas led to flavors of cherry, oak, blackberry, and a bit of baker's chocolate in the aftertaste. There is nice grip in the end, although the wine tastes quite smooth when it first hits your tongue. Very good QPR.

Full Disclosure: I received all these wines as samples. All prices given are the suggested retail prices. You may find them for less in your market. Clicking on the name of the wine will take you to various wine search engines, in case you are looking to buy a bottle near you.


Khelsy said...

Great article For more Tips and guide on the best Red Wine to drink and the finest red wines every month.

fredric koeppel said...

and we had snow this morning in Memphis!

welcome back.

Mark said...

Great to have you back!

Hampers said...

What a wonderful post, beautifully written. It captures these wines so well.

Vanessa said...

So happy to see a new post! I was also excited to see the 2007 Blackstone Reserve Rubric. I visited Blackstone's Reserve tasting room in Sonoma this Fall and it was wonderful. Their wine educator really takes care of guests--definitely worth a visit!

gih said...

The price now of this wine has just increased.