Saturday, February 2, 2013

Review: Camelot Vineyards & Winery Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain North Coast merlots.

By way of background, opening thoughts:  The Camelot Vineyards & Winery line of wines, established in 1993, hails from O'Neill Vintners in Parlier, California, and represents a wide range of California regions in multiple varietals at a bargain price.  Chief winemaker is Mark Rasmussen.  O'Neill Vintners other brands include Pepi, Tin Roof Cellars and Moscato Allegro.   Wine samples provided by the winery's representative.
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Original tasting and review : This is Camelot Chardonnay, California, non-vintage, finished at 13.2% alcohol and combining grapes from the cool-climate Sacramento Delta and Central Coast regions.

In the glass: Clear, light hints of golden yellow.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows chalky hay and light, sweet dry grass.  From the aroma, seems like this will be soft, round, perhaps with dry layers.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much as anticipated, with a fresh, clean mid-palate first appearing with sweet tones followed by flashes of light acids in your cheeks.  A lingering flavor of melon and apple rides to the calm, clean finish.

In summary: Overall, just touches three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a best value at its bargain price.
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Original tasting and review : This is Camelot Pinot Noir, California, non-vintage, finished at 13% alcohol, made from grapes from the Lodi and Clarksburg appelations.

In the glass: Light brick and magenta.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows full, thick purple undertones with bright highlights.  From the aroma, seems like this will be full and tangy.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact fresh, clean, bright and vibrant, with clean plums that come on strong and fade evenly to a modest, fresh finish.

In summary: Overall, rates two stars with a plus for easy drinkability on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.
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Original tasting and review : This is Camelot Cabernet Sauvignon, California, non-vintage, finished at 13.5% alcohol and made from a blend of Lodi, Central Coast and North Coast grapes.

In the glass: Deep magenta, opaque in the very center of the glass.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows simple, fresh deep grape tones.  From the aroma, seems like this will be easy, enjoyable, bright, but perhaps generic in style.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact more flavorful than anticipate, yielding in nature with soft blackberries, very slight tones of purple ink, even a hint of very ripe blueberry.  Finish is rich, of modest length and clean.  Rises several notches above the low expectations created by the nose.

In summary: Overall, rates two stars with a plus for its surprising layers on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, comes precariously close to touching three stars and hitting best value status.
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Original tasting and review : This is Camelot Merlot, California, non-vintage, finished at 13.5% alcohol, made from Lodi, Central Coast and North Coast grapes, similar to the cabernet sauvignon.

In the glass: Medium to deep mahogany.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows soft, subtle but deep berry tones, quite intriguing.  From the aroma, this wine already creates a sense of intrigue and enigma.  Seems like this will be anything from gentle and floral to tough and bold.  Let's see...

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much more in the gentle, friendly, floral and rich category!  The initial attack is soft and mid-palate, almost creamy with crispy, ripe blackberry.  The deep berries spread across your tongue, slowly reaching your cheeks, offering a sense of reserve power.  The finish is not long, but it is somehow husky and wide, still suggestive of that sense of rugged power, but not displayed.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making it a no-brainer best value at its very, very modest price point.


Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain North Coast merlots.


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