Blind Tasting: Wine #24


Running off to work a private party event at the wine bar, but I wanted to throw up at least one blind tasting this week. Again, most of these are from a while ago, and I've since gotten much better at taking notes, but this is what I have down from a tasting at POUR wines (Upper West Side of NYC). 

  • Spicy
  • Meat
  • Ripe berries
  • Blue 
  • Purple
  • Med tannin
  • Med acid
  • Baked fruits


Meat makes me think of SYRAH for some reason, and all the other notes were leading me in that direction... And something felt rustic, so I was thinking old-world... And they do a LOT of SYRAH in the Rhone Valley of France (will discuss more indepth in a future post). The styles differ based on where in the Rhone:
Norther Rhone: Typically lighter, more red fruits, olives, gamey...
Southern Rhone: Known for big, bold, jammy wines. Since I was getting some baked/jammy notes, I ended up with:

Southern Rhone, Syrah dominated blend (with other grapes like Grenache in there, and Mouvedre as well)

correct answer:

Cabernet Sauvignon, California

Annabella, 2010, Cabernet Sauvignon (Selection from Various parts of Cali, though mostly Napa)

Straight from the Wine Maker:

  • 75% Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 10% North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 10% Napa Valley Merlot
  • 5% Sonoma Coast Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged in French Oak for 16 months

"This medium plum colored Cabernet Sauvignon is from one of the best places in the world for producing the varietal; NAPA. The aromas are text book Cab from the fruit profile being dark cherry with ripe cassis notes, but this one also has some of thatright bank Bordeaux pencil lead aromatically—a quality only from an ideal climate and well drained soils from that varietal. The palate is ripe with juicy ripe raspberry and spice with tobacco and black cherry that then fold into a supple crescendo of berry fruit and silk French oak tannins.
This wine would pair well with herb roasted chicken as well as a grilled steak with roasted potatoes and steamed asparagus with a béarnaise sauce."

Now, let me say I really liked this wine for the price. For a Napa Cab - it is a great value. VERY Fruit forward, so you need to be into that sort of thing... and sometimes I enjoy a fruit-forward Cab. It had enough other things going on to make it more complex than a simple "fruit-bomb."

As far as where I went wrong in the blind-tasting, I can see it... The "jammy" notes were from it being a new world wine. Tannins, and acid were there, which is typical for both Cab & Syrah. I missed the "green pepper" notes that are typical with Cab. Maybe there is something about the color of the wine that should lead me one way or the other? Or Viscosity? Where did I go wrong? What are some "KEY" markers to differentiate between a "fruit-forward" New world Cab, vs. a Southern Rhone Blend?

Man. This one stumped me. Still not sure I would get it the next time... 

At least I enjoyed it!