Thursday, March 07, 2024

Wine Tasting - Cabernet Sauvignon

Bassenthwaite Lake Station, Cumbria. Thursday 07-March-2024.

Another interesting tasting focussed on Cabernet Sauvignon including a number of Cabernet Sauvignon based blends. The first tasting that we attended here showcased wines from Bassenthwaite Lake Station's wine merchant. Since then they have switched to wines readily available from various well known retailers. So if there is something that appeals you can rush out and buy some (as happened after the Beaujolais tasting).

Name of wine ABV Retail Price Shop or supplier Country

Tasting notes 

  • Mary's notes [colour; aroma; taste] and ✱ star rating, out of three

1. Chateau Argadens Bordeaux Superieur 2019 14.5% £11 Booths France - Bordeaux

Château Argadens has been in the hands of the Sichel family, who are also part owners of Château Palmer and a number of other prestige Bordeaux estates. Their aim was to make the wine a benchmark within the Bordeaux Supérieur appellation. Sourced from a 45 hectares parcel located in Entre-Deux-Mers and aged for 12 months in oak barrels. Rich and ripe blackberry aromas with notes of oak. Generous on the palate with dense tannins and a long and spicy finish.

  • Mahogany colour; liquorice, blackberry, tobacco; full, rich, some tannins, metallic aftertaste, decent length 

2. Wise Wolf Cabernet Sauvignon 2022 13.5% £12 Morrisons France

Wise Wolf's French Cabernet Sauvignon displays a deep ruby colour and a bouquet of blackberry and cassis that melds softly on the palate with an effortless flow of black cherry and light oak influence. The result is a smooth, supple and structured wine with a balanced tannin finish.

  • Ruby; deeper aromas, spicy, blackcurrant, green pepper; smooth, good grip, blackcurrants, good balance 

3. Babich Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec 2020 13.5% £15 Booths New Zealand - Hawkes Bay

Warm and plummy aromas with blackberry, vanilla and cedar. Gentle on entry with lush rich red fruits overlaying darker notes. The mid palate is generous and sweetly layered while the finish is spice and leather. Dense soft tannins. An ideal partner for an antipasto platter featuring a range of salami and smoked meats, or any meaty casserole, like lamb shanks.

  • Deeper ruby; fresher, more upfront, plummy; strong flavours, red fruits, leather, tannic 

4. Chateau Tanunda Barossa Cabernet/Merlot 2021 14.5% £15 Sainsbury's Australia - Barossa Valley

This harmonious blend of bold grape varieties bursts with notes of juicy blackcurrants, ripe plums and fruity raspberries with silky overtones of chocolaty vanilla. This wine is made at Château Tanunda in the Barossa, an Australian heritage icon, established in 1890. It is the site of some of the Barossa's earliest vines as well as its first winery. The Château is privately owned by the Geber family who continue a tradition of fine winemaking spanning three centuries. This wine is delicious with barbecued or roasted red meats.

  • Deep ruby; nose more closed, blackcurrant, spicy; spicy, ripe, red fruit, bit jammy, soft, smooth 

5. Petaluma Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 14% £16 Majestic Australia - Coonawarra

The famed terra rossa soils of the Coonawarra Valley and cooling sea breezes create the ideal environment for the grapes, resulting in an elegant style similar to that of Bordeaux. Discover notes of cassis, mint, spice and eucalyptus, alongside soft tannins. Its complexity and depth of flavour will pair perfectly with red meats like beef or lamb.

  • Mahogany; blackcurrant, hints of eucalyptus; same on palate, light tannins, good length ½

6. Original Series No. 1 Cabernet/Merlot 2022 13.5% £8.50 Asda South Africa - Stellenbosch

The Original Series is a special selection of wines from some of the most renowned wine regions in the world. Stellenbosch is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, which are perfectly blended to bring you this deep, rich red wine. Combining vanilla oak and dark plum flavours to create a sophisticated taste that lingers on the palate.

  • Lighter ruby; spicy, plummy, cedar; not as rich, plummy, some tannins ½

7. Estampado Bonarda / Cabernet / Malbec 2021 13% £7 Booths Argentina - Mendoza

With lifted aromatics and a bright, brambly palate this is a really appealling expression of a classic Mendozan blend. Bonarda is dark and juicy, freshened by the gently tart Cab with the aromatic lift of Malbec all making for a deliciously vibrant wine.

  • Light mahogany; cedar, blackberry; soft ripe fruit, smooth, blackberry, light, some acidity, light tannins ½

8. Novas Gran Reserva Carmenere / Cabernet 2021 13.5% £11 Booths Chile - Colchagua Valley

Black cherry red with intense blackcurrant and typical green capsicum notes, that give way to hints of black pepper and tobacco leaf. The palate has a bright, fresh bloody feel common to Cabernet with Carmenère's darker leafy note. It's the quintessential expression of Emiliana's Colchagua vineyards at Los Robles. Ideal with grilled or roasted red and white meats, such as grilled skirt steak, roast pork with wine and spice reduction, and pepper-crusted steak.

  • Dark cherry red; more closed on nose, woody, dark fruits; smooth, rich, dark, fruit, bracket damson?)/blackcurrant some tannin 

9. Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 13.5% £10 Majestic Chile - Maipo

Renowned Chilean winery Santa Rita was founded in 1880. Medalla Real was created to celebrate Francisco García Huidobro, an ancestor of the winery's founders. He established the first Mint in Chile and had a medal coined to commemorate his innovation. Mature vines are used to create this complex wine. Grapes are slow-ripening thanks to cool night-time temperatures, allowing concentrated flavours to develop before picking. The end result is powerful but elegant. It has intense aromas of blackcurrant, blueberry and cherry, combined with soft cedar and spice. It's supple and juicy with a long, lingering finish. Delicious with steak in pepper sauce.

  • Dark purple; bit closed, slight medicinal, leafy, plum/blackcurrant; blackcurrant, cedar, some acidity, some tannin. Nose bit better than flavour. 

10. Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 13.5% £10 Asda Chile - Maule Valley

This is a pact with the extraordinary, allow yourself to be tempted and you will not regret it. This Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep character it is intense and has a strong personality... Structured and with an enticing silky character. Black wood, tobacco and a hint of vanilla.

  • Deep purple red; plummy; mushroom, green pepper?, Smooth, powerful, vanilla. Value for money but a bit sweet 

11. Apothic Cabernet Sauvignon / Zinfandel 2021 13.5% £10.50 Morrisons USA - California

The winemaking team carefully select only those cabernet grapes which boast the softest, most plush tannins and a fruit profile of optimal intensity. Sourced primarily from the premium growing region of California, these grapes are blended with a small amount of jammy Zinfandel grapes to deliver a Cabernet Sauvignon that will submerge your taste buds with a texture of silk, notes of dark fruit and layered aromas of vanilla.

  • Dark purple red; soft fruit, chocolate; soft, smooth, sweet, vanilla, jammy 

12. Chronic Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 14% £15 Majestic USA - California, Sonoma

The Beckett brothers grew up in Paso Robles, washing oak barrels and working bottling lines. It was here that they formed life-long connections with local farmers. These ties mean they now have access to the region's finest (or 'Chronic' as the duo call them) grapes. Their 'Sir Real' showcases the very best of Paso Robles Cabernet. Try its notes of black fruit and toasted spice with beef ribs. 

  • Dark dark purple, powerful, violets, cinnamon, plums; some grip, smooth, black fruit, not too sweet 

At the end the leftovers are put out for us customers to make a dash for a second go at our favourites.

Another fine tasting expertly presented by Amy and Aimee both of whom recently passed their Level 2 Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma exam.

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