Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sage Veedercrest

Sage Vineyards
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Napa Valley
Calistoga, California, USA2005
$22.99 -- COSTCO, Austin, TX

Color: Dark red with a purple tinge
Nose: Ripe blackberry, smoked salmon, wet mulch
Body: Medium to full
Front: Cherry
Middle: Pomegranate, hints of mocha, some tannins
Back: Cilantro, wood, soft tannins
Burns clean?:
Cap: Cork

This is a simple, dense bordeaux-style blend (Cab-heavy) from the Mt. Veeder area. At the Costco price, it's a damn good deal. I shouldn't be saying this on the web; I can't imagine that, given this vineyard has only 21 acres, there are bajillions of cases of this out there. It was good with a manchego and garlic crackers appetizer, and just as good with steak and grilled zucchini.

A word on Mt. Veeder area wines, particularly Cabernets: they aren't really for everybody. I find them delightfully briary; that is, blackberry tasty combined with challenging green flavors, sometimes spiny, sometimes herb-o-licious. So, if you like classic Spanish Riojas, you might enjoy Mt. Veeder-derived wines. But if you like Australian colossal fruit, or bright Zins, this would not be the first Cabernet-based fine wine I'd try. It might save you some tongue-shaving.