Friday, October 24, 2008

Review and Rating: **+ Checkered Cab Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003, South Australia

Original Review, January, 2008:
Checkered Cab is a seriously inexpensive (under $7 U.S.) cabernet sauvignon from unspecified areas in south Australia. This 2003 bottling even has a few years of age. Frankly, the brand has a somewhat checkered reputation, befitting its name. Some good reviews, some lousy reviews. I wanted to make up my own mind...

In the glass, it shows as a very respectable deep magenta red, opaque in the center of the glass, with purple/brick highlights at the edge. The aroma lifts slightly from the glass - it is mildly woody and suggestive of good cabernet fruit.

On the palate, you get a surprising intensity in the mid-palate as the first sensation. Plums and tannins combine to back up the initial impression with a reasonably lengthy, furry, fruity finish. I would definitely come back to this again; I would even lay it down for a couple of years to see what evolves. Three stars out of five.

To my mind, one of the better cabernet values at this incredibly low price point. For a few dollars more, though, you can do better. (By the way, don't confuse this with "Checker's Cab" from Dog House Wines, another inexpensive cabernet from Santa Rosa, CA.)

Daryna Tobey of the Wine Enthusiast gave this 86 points and wrote, "Aromas of plum and woodspice lead to similar notes on the palate. Though the wine has a dusty-earthy feel, it's still on the tangy side, with some cherry and cranberry accents to the plum fruit."

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Updated review, October, 2008: On follow-up examination almost a year later, seems a bit thin and woody, lacking in fruit. Two stars with a plus for accessibility. Further time in bottle will seem to do no good.

Find Checkered Cab at WineZap.

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