Monday, June 8, 2015

Review: ***+ $$$ Moniker Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino County, California, 2011

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Moniker Cabernet Sauvignon.

By way of background, opening thoughts:  Moniker Wines are a line of Mendocino County, California, wines provided by the Thornhill family and vinted by winemaker Mark Beaman.  This pinot noir is from a blend of three Mendocino county valleys: Anderson, Redwood and Potter.

Original tasting and review, three years from vintage date, April, 2014 : This is Moniker Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino County, California, 2011, finished at 13.5% alcohol, with grapes harvested from Ukiah Valley.    Some petite sirah and cabernet franc was added to the wine for balance, and the entire lot was finished in French oak.  Tasting sample was provided by a representative of the winery.

In the glass: Medium dusty mahogany.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows aromatics that suggest not-yet-fermented grape must.  Nothing wrong with that; it simply suggests primary fruit and skins.  From the aroma, seems like this will be fruity and mouth-filling, not austere.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact showing a solid core in the center, a sturdier backbone than I anticipated.  Plenty of soft purple fruit surrounds this core and creates a nice velvet resonance.  Distinctive without being odd, Moniker Cabernet Sauvignon offers a bold Mendocino take on a classic varietal.  The finish brings residue of cocoa and plum in a slow, soft, low-acid fade.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a plus for pleasant distinctiveness on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.

Updated review, another year later, now four years from vintage date, June, 2015 : Soft aromas, hidden fruits.  Palate brings some distinctive mid-palate red currant fruits and a cocoa-tinged soft red core.  Soft finish and ready to enjoy now.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Moniker Cabernet Sauvignon.
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