Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sampling Wente Vineyards reds: Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir

By way of background:  Today we are sampling two red wines from Wente Vineyards, from which we have sampled and enjoyed a wide range of white wines in the past, including chardonnays and a sauvignon blanc.  Review samples of the wines were provided by the winery's agent.

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Wente Riva Ranch Pinot Noir.

Original tasting and review : This is Wente Riva Ranch Pinot Noir, Arroyo Seco, Monterey, California, 2012, finished at 14.5% alcohol and first sampled three years from vintage date, in October, 2015.

Inspired by this wine: We're doing paper cutout crafts at the dining room table, with plenty of gossip stories stirring.

In the glass: Pale  brick and ruby.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows taut brambly fruit and twigs.  From the aroma, seems like this will be terse yet perhaps vivid.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact showing a tightly disciplined structure, with some red currant fruit supporting a base of bold acids and sleek bramble.  The relatively high alcohol is hidden fully within the structure.  Modest but completely clean finish.

In summary: Overall, rates two stars with a big plus for power on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  This is a candidate for higher scores with age and/or decanting.
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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Wente Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon.

Original tasting and review : This is Wente Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay, California, 2013, finished at 14.5% alcohol and first sampled two years from vintage date, in October, 2015.

Inspired by this wine: I knew we would be sitting and talking politics, but I was surprised when the old-timer in a leather jacket pulled out a cigar.

In the glass: Dark magenta, opaque from a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows fruity and dark fruit aspects, including mashed black cherry skins.  From the aroma, seems like this will be aromatic and full-bodied.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact somewhat more restrained and contained than expected, with potent cherry fruit held in a leather tannin jacket, allowed to titrate out as the substantial tannins permit.  The old school leather touches show up even more in the finish, which rests for a substantial period, before allowing the black fruit and subtle oak to fade away.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  While enjoyable now, it certainly is worthy of additional time in bottle or decanter.


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