Posts Tagged ‘blended wines’

Two Different Wines with One Similarity…

Perhaps you’ve read our previous post, Fooled by Numbers: Wine and You?  If so, this short comparison between two very different wines compliments it nicely!

I recently purchased, for the same price, a bottle of El Salegar Tinto Fino 2007 and a bottle of the Maison Elise Richard 2008 Corbieres Red Blend, without knowing at their ratings.

El Salegar Tinto Fino 2007, image courtesy of

Maison Elise Richard 2008 Corbieres Red Blend, image courtesy of

Made from a promising blend of Carignan, Grenache Noir, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, the Maison Elise Richard 2008 Corbieres Red Blend was extremely slow to open, and its nose was very closed.  Even after opening, this wine’s nose was stubbornly elusive, being somewhat acidic and only sharing hints of black fruit and prunes.  Though the wine’s texture was not unpleasant, it was not very firm.  Its taste was earthy, but not robust.  Prevalent with brown and black fruits, including prunes, the wine also contained an aberrant licorice flavor which seemed to be an irksome “streak of independence” that divided the wine, rather than unifying it.  Rich with tannins, this is a wine that works best if paired with various potato dishes; I did not find it fully convincing on its own (it also cries for decanting).

In contrast, the El Salegar Tinto Fino 2007 made from Tempranillo grapes, had a delightfully aromatic nose, a very nice body,  and good color.  Containing earthy, herbal flavors including cherries, plumbs, and even some licorice, this wine was pleasantly well-balanced, and offered a robust, satisfying finish.  Unlike the Maison, the El Salegar demanded my attention immediately, and also did not have to rely on food to be enjoyed.

Granted, these are two very different wines, but it is interesting to note that they both were rated highly at 90 points each!

Simple Label, Complex Wine: the Cahuin Winemaker’s 2008 Select Red

March 21st, 2011 No comments

Cahuin Winemaker's 2008 Select Red

Never judge a book by its cover, or a wine by its label.  The somewhat plain, non-memorable label on the Cahuin Winemaker’s 2008 Select Red gives credence to this old adage.  This delightful, earthy and rich red consists of a fine blend of Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Malbec.  (The Malbec provides exceptional body, with earthy flavors including blackberries and plums.)  In fact, this wine recently took home the Bronze in San Francisco’s International Wine Competition in 2010.  I personally would rate it 91 or 92 points, though it received an “official” rating of 90 points.

Blends such as this, when successful, are so because the balance of varietals is just right; they work together to bring out the best flavor inherent in each.   This well-balanced red pairs particularly well with salads that include Thousand Island dressing, Russian dressing, and meals that may include pasta with rich sauce, pastrami, corned beef, whole potato fries, and caramelized onions.  Even mushroom burgers make a nice pairing, particularly with a bit of bleu cheese is melted atop the mushroom.  And, naturally, this wine goes well with a good cut of steak, like most wines from Argentina.

If, at first, you’re not as taken with this wine as I, have no fear; this is one of those wines that takes time to open up.  After a good 10 minutes, you’ll experience this wine in all its glory. Decanting it would be an excellent plan; I like this classic decanter by Riedel and it’s currently on sale for less than $40!

While it is not a wine that will call to you from the store shelf with an intriguing label, the Cahuin Winemaker’s 2008 Select Red will certainly dress up one of your meals!