Tag Archives: Cabernet Sauvignon

Weekly Wine – Nederberg

8 Mar

The Nederberg Winemasters Cabernet Sauvignon
South Africa
14.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

This wine is corked – at first one feels rather posh opening it up.
But then after scrambling around looking for a corkscrew – one gets a distinct and vigorous pop as the cork leaves the confines of the bottle.
Then the pour.
Then the sip.
This wine is rather sour – at first quite unpleasantly. It is a bit harsh and acidic.
Yet the sourness mellows after two or more tastes.
It also is mellowed with a few “just this side of stale” tortilla chips – plain without salsa.
The wine looks nice – classy label, a cork, it looks very elegant. Perhaps this is why the experience of drinking it is a bit of a let-down. It is a dry acidic wine. It is OK but I would pass on it – unless I want to impress someone with a fancy bottle.

Weekly Wine – Alta CS

1 Feb

fuzalt_csFuzion Alta Cabernet Sauvignon
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I drank this wine’s cousin a while back. It was the Malbec wine.
This is the cabernet sauvignon grape.
And this wine is all right.
The best thing about it is that the price has not changed in the last three years. I drank that bottle in October 2013. WOW.
Well not really wow. The Argentinean economy has been down quite a bit so that explains why this wine hasn’t gone over ten bucks.
This wine has a very nice colour and a very nice balance. It is a very nice standard table wine that will not offend anybody but those that are making airs of being wine connoisseurs. Those people should be served real crap. I have a list if you need it.
But I digress…
This wine will not win many, if any, awards and you might not remember it next morning. But that’s OK. It is a good wine that is meant to be drunk.

Weekly Wine – Sawmill Sauvignon

7 Dec

smccsSawmill Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Year: N/A
12.5% ABV
$9.99 (Edmonton bottle shop)

I have written about the state of wine prices in Alberta previously.
I bought more than one bottle though. This was the second that I opened. This is also a hybrid wine made from grapes from wherever. Actually it is a blend of wine from wherever. It could be “Make your own Wine Store” wine. Probably not, but I am very sceptical of hybrid wine.
This scepticism is not without merit.
I tried this wine on the tail of trying the Sawmill Creek Shiraz and I could not really appreciate the difference. There was a slight taste difference. The body was very similar. The feeling that you want more from a wine was the same as in the Shiraz.
But that is not the most unfortunate part.
While this wine doesn’t make you retch it does make you grimace.
It is blasé generic wine that is barely drinkable.
I’d move on.

Weekly Wine – Southern Blend

2 Nov

1102tocsmTwo Oceans Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
South Africa
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

The label of this wine screams quality.
It looks elegant. It looks sophisticated. It looks like it costs more than ten bucks.
Well it tastes like ten bucks. Perhaps a bit more – but not much more.
It is an okay wine – a bit unrefined, a bit raw, a bit sour.
The acidity is noticeable as are the sulphites. There is a nice cherry flavour but that is whisked away by the sourness and acidity. Are they sour cherries? Not sure.
This wine has a pleasant body that is not too heavy so perhaps that’s what brings out the sourness and acidity. The medium body and acidity actually work well on a warm evening so this is why this wine presents me with a quandary.
Is it a great wine? No.
Is it OK? Yeah… I guess so.
Would I buy it again? Probably.

Weekly Wine – Esquinas

3 Aug

Esquinas de Argento Cabernet Sauvignon
14% ABV
$6.95 (LCBO)

This wine is cheap. Very cheap.
At under seven bucks a bottle, this might be the cheapest alcohol there is.
I actually should say it is inexpensive – very inexpensive.
The reason is that it is actually not that bad of a wine. Make no mistake – this will never pass for a great wine and it would even be a stretch to label it as a mediocre wine.
It is full bodied – but it is heavy and dank. Like a change room where everybody is showering after a long and heavy workout. There are flavours in this body that need not be investigated. Better left undiscovered. There is a strange aftertaste. After the second glass I feel that I should brush my teeth. And then mouthwash.
I’ve had worse wines. This is not a wine I would spill out. I would not use it for sauces either as some of those off flavours might escape.
The saving grace for this wine is that it is inexpensive and one can muddle through it. And then go spend an extra dollar on something much better.

Weekly Wine – Caliterra

11 May


Caliterra Reserva
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I’m sipping this wine late at night and I’m trying to decide if I like it or not.
So much of whether a person likes a wine or not at a given time is based on one’s mood.
I’m distracted and am not giving the wine my full attention. This is not out o the ordinary actually. In this case the wine is asking me for my attention. It is not whispering, Judge me, judge me!” More likely it is saying, “don’t ignore me.”
I switch gears, put on some good music and focus on the wine.
This sip is different than the first ones. The wine has breathed. It has changed. The fist sips were sharp and poignant. These ones have mellowed although a sharp aftertaste remains. The wine is not heavy and has a nice delicate flavour. I’m actually quite surprised that the flavour changed after it was left to aerate for a few minutes. Wines at this price point tend not to be so delicate.
I like this wine – now that I’ve paid it some well-deserved attention.


Weekly Wine – HardysStamp

22 Oct

SONY DSCHardys Stamp Series Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon

12.5% ABV
$9.90 (LCBO)

This is a good wine. Almost too good.
This is a new type of stamp series from Hardy’s in Australia. It does not have an indigenous animal pictured. It just states – STAMP.
Is this a cost saving measure?

Whatever it may be, this wine is good.
Not excellent – but good. It does not have the weight of an excellent wine, but it does not have the cringe inducing qualities of a bad wine.
The term that popped into my head was easy-drinking.

This term might be considered a kiss of death, and perhaps it should be. Crappy beers are forever marketed as easy-drinking.
But here, in the wine world, easy drinking, for me, means a passable wine. A good inexpensive wine that will not offend anybody and will be consumed and forgotten.
Until the time one needs to pick up a bottle of inexpensive wine.

Weekly Wine – 120

21 Mar

SONY DSCSanta Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon
13.5% ABV
$9.60 (LCBO)

I’m drinking this wine and thinking about people who are struggling for freedom.
The 120 in the name of this wine is there because, as it says on the label, “Honoring 120 patriots who helped lead Chile to independence.” I look to engage the Internet to find out who these 120 people are and I get distracted by the events in Ukraine – where people are struggling for their independence and self-determinations right now.
What would any freedom fighter think of this wine?
They would probably like it – they would probably appreciate any wine.
This wine has a distinct Chilean characteristic that I have picked up on. The initial taste is fine, quite pleasant with a smattering of flavours and a hint of complexity. The after-taste comes in and it is a bit dry and harsh. It is the sulphites that are added, as they are to most wines in the sub 10-buck category, that are quite pronounced.
This wine needs to be enjoyed with food because of this after-taste. A hearty meal – not just finger snacks. With food you will not get the harshness and the wine will be a winner at most any occasion.

Weekly Wine – Caliterra

4 Dec

SONY DSC Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I have a friend who swears by Chilean wine. He said that there was no such thing as a bad wine from Chile.
I will be sure to bring him this one the next time I come around.
It ain’t bad but it sure ain’t great.
This wine has harsh overtone, hell flavours, that last from the moment the wine hits the mouth to long after it has been swallowed and has gone on its merry way. This wine is in your face. When you sip it you will not say – “Oh, what a nice wine.”
It will be more like, “Oh, that’s an interesting one.”
I should do a back to back tasting based on wine grapes. I’ve had very good Cabernet Sauvignons and ones that I would pass on. I’ll pass on this one as it is not pleasant to drink. Perhaps there are subtleties in the flavouring that I am to pedestrian to savour and appreciate.
Nah – this is a cheap wine and it tastes like it.

Weekly Wine — GatoNegro

10 Oct

SONY DSCGatoNegro – Cabernet Sauvignon

$8.95 (LCBO)
13.5% ABV

Years ago I used to love this wine. It was good wine at a good price. What could be better.
Then it all went sour for me when I saw this exact wine for sale in a gas station on the outskirts of Gdansk, Poland. What struck was not the fact that this is a type of wine that would be sold in gas stations but the image of this wine, and winery, as a truly colossal conglomerate spewing out unimaginable quantities of wine.
At that point in time, I liked to think of wineries in a traditional, clichéd no doubt, image – a mom-and-pop type operation that is passed down through generations and each batch of wine fretted over by fastidious artisans.
That dream was shattered there. I realized what the wine industry is. It did not stop me from drinking wine. I just did not go to GatoNegro for a few years. Until now…
It is a very nice wine that is dry with a bit of a tart finish. I actually enjoyed this wine – like meeting up with an old friend after not seeing them for a while.