Saturday, November 14, 2009

***+ $ Forbes Creek VIntage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007, Lake County, CA - Wine Review and Rating - Zagat Wine Club Selection

Find prices and availability for Zagat Wine introductory mixed case.

By way of background: This Forbes Creek Cabernet Sauvignon from the Lake County region of California is part of an introductory Zagat Wine Club selection. It also seems to be a regular component in recent 4Seasons Wine Club offerings. "ZagatWine" is from the well known Zagat Survey group, offered by founders Nina and Tim Zagat. This collection included a case of 12 wines, with four reds and four whites each. The initial shipment arrives with a promotional pitch to have your friends join the club, along with one-pagers on each of the delivered wines.

For the Forbes Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, the description broadly tells you about the flavors of the wine, about cabernet sauvignon as a grape, about food to pair with the wine, and about the Lake County region. What is doesn't tell you is anything about the vineyards, winemaking, winemakers, or anything else of substance about the wine itself (except alcohol level, 14.1%, and that "fine oak adds spicy complexity"). So, I'm underwhelmed by the amount of content delivered by these glossy, four-color enclosures.

The Fox Creek label confirms the same information: Lake County cabernet sauvignon grapes, and 14.1% alcohol. Let's see what it delivers in the glass...

In the glass: Deep purple burgundy, opaque about one inch in from the sides of the glass.

On the nose: Aromas of deep, fruity dark oak, with hints of plum and cocoa.

On the palate: First note is a rich and sandy plum mid-palate, starting at the middle of your tongue and moving slowly out. Subtle blackberry fruit moves to the edges, and just taps the edges of your cheeks with its light acid twang.

And the finish: Tannins hold the fruit captive for a few moments, then release it as they draw at your cheeks. A bit of a lag, then a rebound with one last fruitful sigh. Clean, not cloying.

In summary: Quite solid and balanced experience, without offering any particularly terroir-driven memories. Threes stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its potent balance. Excellent value at the price of this introductory bottle (based on average price per bottle of less than $10 each including shipping).

Find prices and availability for Zagat Wine introductory mixed case.

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