Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Desert Wine Guy - 2006 Firestone Vineyards Merlot


   Folks, today I want......no, today I need to tell you about a wine that I simply HAD to write an article about. Did I say HAD? yeah, I sure did. Let me begin this review by telling you a story. I had originally began to do a review of another wine, the 2016 Le Charmel Sauvignon Blanc but when I took my first two sips of the wine I became aware of one thing and that one thing was, the wine absolutely had to be dumped down the Kitchen sink. The wine was disgusting! I then opened the 2008 Bella Vista Gewertzraminer and it too was really bad but at least that wine had an excuse, it was a white wine from 2008 and was not meant to be around that long. The wine which had no excuse was the 2016 Le Charmel as it was just made. By now I am done thinking about any review and I just want to relax with a decent wine. I opened yet another wine, this time the wine was the 2006 Firestone Merlot which was produced and bottled by Firestone Vineyard in Los Olivos, California (https://www.firestonewine.com/Visit/Visit-Us).
Now, you are probably saying, where? Well that is what my reaction was. The fact that I had never heard of the Vineyard and the fact that the wine was so old and yet held up so well is why I absolutely had to break out the Computer again and do a review on this wine. Aside from that, after raving to my 8 year old Daughters (the bosses) about the wine and telling them that I wish I did a review on the wine and that the Winery deserved so much credit for making a wine that held up this long they finally said "why don't you do a review"? You know what? They are right and so here is that review.
   Today's review as I said is on the 2006 Firestone Vineyards Merlot from the Central Coast. This another in a series of wines that I bought the wine from the Wine of The Month Club (https://www.wineofthemonthclub.com/) and as it turns out (and you will see) I am very glad I did. After doing some research on the Internet, I can find nothing out concerning this wine and so I will be E-Mailing them today to see if I can find out any more information. What I can tell you about the wine is that it comes in at 13.5% on the Alcohol percentage and that the Cork held up without issues. Let me begin this review by briefly talking about the one disappointing factor that I came across in relation to the wine.
   I am a wine label person as I believe the wines label is so important. On this wine I am feeling sort of neutral however concerning the label as it is neither one which would attract me or grab my attention and check out the wine nor was it one that would repel me. The label was simply okay.
   On the Nose now the wine was very proud of the Cocoa and the decent bit of Oak that it happily put out. Both of these notes were rather noticeable and impressive impressively inviting as well. There was a peppery spice as well which I thought was truly impressive and was surprised about. This peppery spice I thought really added a nice twist from the Cocoa & Oak. In actuality, I am truly impressed that this wine had anything at all left to present whether it be on the Nose and I thought it  was a pleasant surprise.
   Before I start off here I need to let you guys know something. I am not in any way shape or form a lover at all of an overly fruit forward and sugary red wine. Yes, some fruit forwardness and sugar on the Palate is perfectly acceptable but a sugar or fruit bomb is not to my liking. Having said this, please keep it in mind as you read on.
  Moving to the Palate now......ahhh.....wow. Let's start off right away with a super nice note of a Baked Cocoa that is certainly up front, it is not overpowering but so incredibly nice. This Baked Cocoa is so smooth on the Palate yet also as I said is so forward that I just couldn't believe what I was tasting. I truly wish you could be here to taste this note right along with me. The Cocoa note is joined by a note of Oak that simply meshes in so perfectly withe Baked Cocoa that I am........amazed. Folks,The Cocoa note sort of takes on a bit of the Oak and amazingly that adds a sort of softness to the wine yet not a softness which kills or deadens it but one that simply elevates the Oak while keeping the sugar of the Baked Cocoa to a level where it is just perfect. Wine lovers, I am not done by any means so hold onto your seats because here it comes. Let's talk for just a minute about a Plum note that is simply straight up front on the Palate.
The Plum note which by the way, is not full of sugar presents itself in such an incredible way and with a perfectly controlled level of sugar/fruit that it is just a touch more then efficient yet truly not anywhere near coming close to being a sugar bomb. As the wine stands right now and I'm talking about 45 minutes into it, I cannot express how impressed I am with it. This is a low priced red wine from 2006, I'm in awe. Let's move along now and talk about a Black Pepper spice that is on the Finish. This Black Pepper note is way in the back of the Palate and adds incredible life to the wine.Yes, even though it appears toward the back of the Palate this note makes it's presence well known and that presence does create a difference in how the wine comes across in the mouth. Without this note the wine would be missing a certain something. All this while this Black Pepper note sits so far in the back on the Finish that it is almost as if the wine says "don't forget what you are drinking", you certainly wont. Let me talk about a fruit forwardness that the wine presents on the Palate. Is this a fruit forward wine? That is the question that I can hear you asking. The answer to that question is.......yes, it is BUT it is fruit forward only because of that Plum note  and nothing more. While that may sound weird I would like to explain. The Plum is while not full of sugar certainly sugary enough to pull this wine up front with fruit. Yes, it is that powerful and remember the Baked Cocoa also adds to that feeling of sugar on the Palate. I need to repeat here that the wine held it's own in the Palate presentation of sweetness. The wine presents a perfect amount of fruit forwardness and sugar to carry every note to it's fullest I promise you. Let me re-group here for a minute. So I sat back in my chair and looked over this wine bottle and the wine itself once again. I took a decent sip in my mouth and this is what I am thinking right now.......Cocoa, dark fruit, Pepper, Plum.....oh and Tannins.....yes, I said Tannins dear readers.
Now hold on a second there Desert Wine Guy, do you mean that after all these years, the wine still can maintain itself so well AND present Tannins? In short, Yeah, that's what I am saying. Let's talk about these Tannin's for a minute. Around mid to just after mid Palate there are some really nice Tannins that coat the Tongue. Yes, after all these years this wine can still present Tannins that are something to be reckoned with, how amazing is that? One final note here wine lovers. Can you believe that in this old wine there still is a nice note of Tobacco on the Palate? Well, believe it or not this wine did put forward a note of Tobacco that still was able to make you sit up and take note of it. Did I say that Tobacco was the final note? Well.....I was mistaken as there is a note that I should tell you about and that is a note of red wine acidity. What? This wine is from 2006 Desert Wine Guy, what are you talking about? Folks, the last note or taste on the Palate that this wine talks about is indeed one of Acidity. How can all of this be you ask? That is a great question but and the only answer that I have for you is that the Winemaker was just simply that good. Folks, it is that time. I have to end this review guys because it is 6:18 PM right now and I must do the Father / Husband thing so let me move to the closing chapter of this review.
   This is a wine from 2006 folks and I don't believe that the wine was created with the intent of aging like this.  From the very little that I can see this wine sold for around $15 when it was released. I guess in 2006 this was a decent bit of money for a wine (I will avoid delving into politics here) so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the wine held up like it did.  Folks, this wine is simply ...... outstanding and on The Desert Wine Guy rating scale I am giving it a straight, no doubt 93 AWESOME points. While this wine is a fruit forward wine it stops short of being a Sugar Bomb or an overly fruity wine. Believe it not, this wine still had to Decant for around a half hour but once it did it did it held strong and did not change any further. Readers this wine is indeed beyond belief. I don't know how else to say it, the wine exceed all of my expectations. Now, I know that you can't buy the wine anymore but I want you to check into Firestone Vineyards (see link above) and give their wine a shot. I can almost guarantee that the Winemaker never thought that his wine would being enjoyed in 2019 when he created it. Whatever the Winemaker thought, I can tell you that if you give this wine a half hour to Decant it will certainly impress you.

                                                                                                                  The Desert Wine Guy

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Desert Wine Guy - Review Of Texas Roadhouse Restaurant - Las Vegas


   Today I am going to be going down a different road here on The Desert Wine Guy wine blog. I will still be doing a review but this review will be a Restaurant review. To be more specific, today's review is of the Las Vegas location of Texas Roadhouse (https://www.texasroadhouse.com/). My Family and I first heard about this restaurant was when we took a trip to the Lehi area of Utah about a year and a half ago. We wanted a good steak restaurant so we asked around and the overwhelming consensus was to go to the Texas Roadhouse. My Family and I went to Dinner there and we were very impressed to say the least. When my Wife and I inquired of the Manager if there was going to ever be a location in Las Vegas we were informed that there was going to be one in the near future and that they were currently looking for a suitable location. Well, about a year later a location did open in Las Vegas and my Wife and I went to Dinner there however neither one of us were impressed. Yesterday (Jan 13, 2019) we decided to give the restaurant another try but this time I would do a review on the restaurant. So......here is that review.
Cactus Blossom
   My Wife used the company's cell phone app that she had downloaded a few months ago in order to check in for a table. We were allowed 45 minutes to arrive which was more then sufficient. By the way when you download the app you also get a free appetizer to use the next time you go to the restaurant. We arrived at the restaurant at 4:20 PM and were seated at 4:30 PM, not bad at all. The restaurant was pretty busy and Employees were running around the place doing their jobs. We weren't at our table very long when our server, Mercedes, came to the table, greeted us properly and took our drink orders. I thought Mercedes was rather pleasant and seemed to enjoy her job.
    My kids ordered Lemonade and my wife ordered a water. I of course ordered a 6 oz glass of the 2016 Louis. M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon. I was not informed at the time that for $2 more I could get what they call the "Texas Pour" which is 3 oz more wine for $2 more. Fresh rolls and butter (see photo) were brought to the table almost right away and they were hot and very good. At the table was also a medium size bucket of Roasted Peanuts in the shell. These Peanuts are also available to you in a large Oak barrel just to the right as you walk in. This is one of those places where you can throw the shells on the ground, the kids love that.
Fresh Rolls & Butter
    Before I go on I would like to remind you that this is a steak restaurant and they serve a lot of meat. They also make a big deal about the meat they sell. As a matter of fact, when you first walk into the restaurant you will see the different cuts of Steak they sell on display (see photo). The Steaks look like they are of high quality and appear to be appetizing. Now knowing this I took another look at the wine selection which was available for purchase. I assumed for a second that either I had missed something or that there was a separate wine menu, I was wrong, there was not and consequently, I was not at all impressed. There were a total of four (4) red wines with one of them being the 2016 Louis. M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon. As for the white wines, there were 5 to choose from. All wines were available by the glass or bottle. Perhaps it's me but I expected more red wines to be available at a steak restaurant. The wines which were available were the run of the mill type wineries with nothing special worth mentioning being offered. By the way, as I said earlier, the restaurant offers two different wine pours with one being the standard 6 oz pour and for an extra $2 you get the 9oz pour ($8.99) which they call a "Texas Pour".
Kids Macaroni & Cheese
Overall there seemed to be no attention paid to wine although Beer and Tequila based, sugary drinks were heavily pushed. If you look at their on-line menu you will see no mention of them selling wine at all. If you search out comments on the wine aspect of the restaurant you will see comments from Customers on TripAdvisor such as "Although they do have a bar, I have never seen a printed wine list." I think that ownership needs to re-think their Liquor marketing strategy that allows this to continue as this is a Steak House and by the way, the prices are not exactly cheap so they do get the Clientele to be able to afford higher priced and more diverse wines.
Meat On Display At Front
    Let's get to the food section of this review now. My Wife chose the Cactus Blossom that came with Cajun Horseradish Sauce as her free Appetizer. The Cajun Horseradish Sauce was not at all spicy and yet had good flavor to it. My Wife also ordered a Water, I ordered a glass of the 2016 Louis. M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon and the kids ordered Lemonade. The drinks and the Cactus Blossom came out about five minutes after being ordered . My Family and I enjoyed the Cactus Blossom as it was not overly greasy or oily as these dishes can normally be. As we are eating our Appetizers our server was checking in with us to see if everything was going well and she even refilled the kids drinks without our prompting which showed that she was paying attention to us. My Wife and I were also asked if we wished any more drinks.
Sirloin Combo
    As for our Dinner Entrees, my Wife ordered the Dallas Filet which is a 6 oz Filet Mignon which she ordered cooked extremely rare. Her dish came with two sides and she opted for the Mashed Potatoes and a Salad with Ranch Dressing. My Wife was offered Grilled Onions and Mushrooms on her Steak to which she declined both. The price for this plate was $18.99. I opted for the 6 oz Top Sirloin which I ordered Medium rare and the Grilled Shrimp which was 5 medium sized Shrimp on a Skewer (the Sirloin Combo). My two sides were Baked Potato with Butter only and Seasoned (Brown) Rice. I was also offered Grilled Onions and Mushrooms to which I chose the Onions. The price for this plate was $17.99. One of my kids ordered mini cheeseburgers (2) and the other the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Both kids meals came with one side and the kids both chose Applesauce.
View Inside
    So how did the food taste? My Wife's Salad came out about five minutes later and she said the greens were fresh and the Salad tasted very good. As for the quality of my Wife's Steak she said that it was undercooked although I did say that she ordered it "extremely rare" as these were her exact words and I know that this term can be very subjective. My Wife did say that the Steak was soft and she did enjoy it however it was room temperature. As for my food, my rice was hot and flavorful however my Shrimp was only room temperature and my Steak was cold as well. Flavor wise the Shrimp was slightly on the Salty side yet not overdone and was spicy as well but once again, not overdone in that area either.
Cocktail Napkins
All in all, I enjoyed the Shrimp and thought they were overall very good. The Steak unfortunately was only slightly warm and certainly not Medium Rare as I ordered it. My Steak was also very fatty and tough to chew. The Baked Potato which I ordered was not on my plate but was however, on my Wife's plate. Once I retrieved the Baked Potato I thought it was cooked to perfection and I enjoyed it. The Onions of my Steak were rather greasy but did have good flavor. My Daughter who ordered the Cheeseburgers said they were good as they were juicy but could have been cooked a bit longer. She also said that the Buns were really soft. My other Daughter said that the Macaroni & Cheese was delivered at room temperature but the Pasta was served at the perfect texture however the amount of Cheese was not sufficient. The portion size for the Adults and the Children's meals were sufficient.
Kids Cheeseburgers
    Did we have any other concerns during our visit? This concern may sound weird until you really think about it. All of our items came very quickly and in a couple of instances such as the Steaks, rather too quickly for our liking. This prompting my Wife and I into believe that the food was not freshly cooked but either cooked half way and finished up or simply re-warmed as it was ordered as there was no way that Steaks as thick as these were such as we ordered could cook that fast. We had a couple of issues with the Server that I wanted to talk about as well which I thought was really weird. I had dropped my red dinner napkin on the floor that a Busboy noticed and picked up a couple of minutes later but when Mercedes checked in on us one time I asked her for another napkin and she  pointed to some cocktail napkins on my table and said that I had some.
Sauted Onions
I sort of looked at her in disbelief for a second. Here I am paying all this money for some items which I felt were sub-standard and you want to give me a hard time over a Napkin? I told her once again that I wanted another dinner napkin and felt forced to tell her what happened to my other Napkin before she finally agreed to provide me with another one, I think this was very rude. One other issue that we had was when we needed to go boxes. My Wife and I had food leftover and when we asked for to go containers Mercedes simply dropped them off at the table without even a request if we wished her to pack the food, she didn't even provide a bag in order for us to carry the containers. I think it should be a given as well as a nice touch for the server to pack the leftover food for the customer rather then the Customer be left to do it for themselves. I understand that you you may feel differently and this is just my opinion but it does reflect in the tip.
House salad
   There are a couple of things that I would like to bring to your attention prior to ending this review.    One item is something that I always dislike and find very annoying in a restaurant is that this is one of those places where the wait staff stop doing their job and begin to Line Dance. Why do I have an issue with this? I feel that it is very rude to be talking to staff and they break away to dance. I also feel that at least on this occasion perhaps if wait staff were not dancing, my family's food would have been hot, how is that for a thought? One other comment about the bill which ended up being $73.54. When I was handed the bill to pay it was one price but when it was rang up and re-presented for my signature it had gone up as my first glass of wine was added, this I believe is unacceptable without the server bringing it to my attention.
Dallas filet
   My overall thoughts here are that the restaurant which takes supposed pride in the quality of its meats needs to do a much better job either in cooking those meats or choosing the meats it does offer because I was not impressed. The cooks or Kitchen Manager also need to ensure that all the food which leaves their Kitchen is hot and their food orders properly arraigned.To me this restaurant is just another Outback Steak House only more expensive. I thought the Dallas Filet as well as the kids Cheeseburgers plates were very bland in appeareance and could have used some Garnishments to spruce their presentation up quite a bit. The bottom line for me as well as my Family is, with all the Casino restaurants available here in Las Vegas my family and I will be looking elsewhere for a good Steak in the future.


  
  

                                                                                                                  The Desert Wine Guy

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Desert Wine Guy - 2013 Kunza Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc

   Before reading this review, please keep in mind that it was written a while ago and the opening comments pertaining to the weather were accurate at that time. I hope you enjoy the review.
   Springtime is right around the corner folks. Yes, I know that depending upon where you live in the country your weather today might still be including snow or freezing temperatures and the last thing you are seeing is signs of Spring but here in Las Vegas the weather is going to top out at 70 degrees for.....well probably the next week or so and quickly climb upwards from there. Yes indeed everyone, spring is not only coming to Las Vegas, but it is in fact already here. With the warmer months here or at least for some of us, in the not too distant future, the opportunity to sit outside by the pool and in my case walk around in the Vineyards as well as sit outside by the pool with some chilled white wine is indeed on the way. Yeah, I suppose if you really wanted to you could grab some Wine Coolers if you want to go Old School but there are more people (me for one) opting for wines such as our review wine here.
   Today we will review one of those hot Summer Pool / Vineyard wines. Today we will be reviewing the 2013 Kunza Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc from Vinedos Sol de Chile area which is in the heart of the Maule Valley. Kunza, by the way, Kunza is actually an extinct language once spoken in Northern Chile and Southern Peru. I bought this review wine from the Wine of The Month Club (https://www.wineofthemonthclub.com/). Today's wine comes in at 13% Alcohol, sells for $15 and was rated at 94 points by the wine club. I have serious questions as to where exactly they got 94 points from by I guess wine is subjective, especially when you are the one selling it, right? I received this wine in the mail in September of 2013 and I guess I put it in a wine rack and forgot about it. The other day I was looking for a white wine in one of the wine racks that I don't usually go to and I happened to come across this wine. I placed the wine in the fridge for about an hour and afterward, I gathered the wine, my Laptop and  my wine glass and headed to the Loft to get to work
   From the wine's appearance in the bottle, my impression was that it gave off a very promising appearance. Have you ever experienced that perception in a bottle where you just get that feeling that the wine is going to please your Palette? Well that's what I experienced with the appearance of this wine in the bottle. I had high hopes for a decent, crisp and slightly sweet or fruity wine to enjoy with the Pool and the nice weather. What I got in reality however was a white wine with rather mixed results.
   Upon opening this wine which by the way was sealed using a Cork and not a Screw Cap, I quickly noticed that the Bouquet was rather strong and fruity. This was great with me and there were no complaints here since I am a fan of the semi fruity hot weather style expression of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal anyway. Here is also one of those few and far between wines where you can detect the Bouquet from a few feet away and that definitely makes me a happy camper.
 
   Now onto the part, we are all waiting for. On the front of the Palette was the medium fruit note of Apricot which was followed up by a slightly more powerful and forward note of Grapefruit. Both notes were pleasant but the Grapefruit did stand out a bit more. This wine however is certainly packed with many different floral notes. There is a Pear note as well that is so light it is almost sort of hidden deep inside the wine, it is almost an afterthought and almost something sensed rather than actually tasted. A strangely nice Lemon note appears as well, again is slightly more dominant than the Apricot note. This wine has some surprises to it as well as there is a fairly decent amount of acidity which I didn't expect. While the wine does have fruit notes to it, the wine in general is really lacking a fruity side to it as the fruit notes that are gathered here are actually semi-dull and rather relaxed. The bottle actually has it correct, there are "greenish tones" as it puts it and there is that sense of grassiness to the wine as well which is nice. The wine presents itself as a very nice, crisp & clean wine on the Palate and actually exhibits some rather nice legs on the side of my glass. On the wines first exposure to my Palate I detected a quick, mild Peachy / Pear sweetness that unfortunately disappears rather quickly. There is a note of Gooseberry that seems to tag along for the ride as well here. I thought that I might have perhaps also tasted that very mild peach on the finish but like all the other notes it was also sort of semi watered down in flavor. The wines notes are overall consistent however and you will certainly pick them up on your Palette so there is no concern there.
The notes that dominate here are the notes of acidity with the Lemon and Grapefruit contributing significantly to the Grassiness and they dominate the wine subduing the fruitier notes to a large extent. None of the tropical notes manage to be able put up a fight against the more acidic notes mentioned here. The sweeter notes do manage however to put up enough of a challenge on the other hand to be able to stop the wine overall from being in any way repulsive or overdone on the acidic end so don't worry about that. The Lemon and Grapefruit do dominate here as expected as is normal for a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. If you like a very minerally Sauvignon Blanc with some light fruit notes, this wine is for you. As you can see this is not a sweet, tropical fruit bomb by any means so for those of you who like a fairly clean, crisp Sauvignon Blanc than this is the wine is for you especially at the price of $10-$15. If on the other hand you are looking for a semi-sweet, fruity yet not over the top Sauvignon Blanc you might want to stay away from this version of the varietal..
   Okay so.......overall I did like this wine. As for 94 points the Wine of The Month Clubs dream didn't even come close to being fulfilled. Overall the wine is decent and priced correctly for what it is. I guess that I would buy it again but I would not go out of my way to find a bottle. On The Desert Wine Guy Rating Scale, I give it 85 points.

                                                                                                                   The Desert Wine Guy

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Desert Wine Guy - 2016 Legende de Rothschild Bordeaux

 
   Hello everyone and welcome back once again to my wine blog. Today I will be reviewing the 2016 Legende de Rothschild Bordeaux((http://www.lafite.com/en/). This is a wine that I bought from the Wine Of The Month Club (https://www.wineofthemonthclub.com/) for $9.99 because it sounded interesting. The wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon & 40% Merlot. This Bordeaux is billed as "ready to drink" which is said to be unusual for Bordeaux. The line of wine (L├ęgende) was actually started in 2002 however the winemaker in charge of the moderately priced Bordeaux as well as bringing the wine to America is Diane Flamand, Mrs. Flamand took over the program in 2004 and says that she has seen the lineup grow significantly. What a pedigree this wine has but as usual the question that requires answering is, how does the wine taste? Let me get started on answering that question now. To begin this review I want to start at the very appearance of the wine, which means the label.
Diane Flamand
   You guys who follow me know that I am a big label person meaning I believe that a wines label is very important. The label is the very first thing the consumer sees when they go to purchase a wine. I think that the label on this bottle was less then impressive for a wine that is suppose to be representing such a famous Pedigree and region. I was not a lover of the colors used on the label and feel that they weren't thought out very well at all. As for the Font used, I wasn't impressed either and feel that it too could have been thought out better. Overall the label looked rather cartoonish to be honest.
   Moving to how the wine presented itself in my glass the wine had a fairly dark Cherry appearance while looking down the middle of the glass that was appealing to the eyes. On the sides of the glass the wine of course was deeper in color and appeared to be rather serious.
    On the Nose the wine was not impressive at all. Very light (and I do mean very light) notes of an Oak & Black Cherry but when I say very light, I mean it. There was barely any Bouquet to this wine and the little that was there had to be hunted for and even when found it was not impressive at all. Needless to say, I was not impressed.
Chateau Lafite
   So far this wine is not impressing me. Of course in reality a wines label and from what I have discovered, Bouquet, do not make or break a wine however both being impressive would be a great start. Let's move on though and see if the wine can come through where it really matters and that of course is on the Palate.
   Well here we are now looking to see just how the wine came across on the Palate. Folks, I know that the wine supposedly has a pretty prestigious Pedigree and is from a well respected region but........well, I'm getting ahead of myself huh? I think I have to back up a bit and start from the beginning. The very first thing I'll tell you is that the wine first presented on the Palate a note of muddy plum. Yep, muddy plum. The wine just presented a note of.......dirt or dust. Mix this note with a Black Cherry that is lacking any sugar and you will understand what I am getting here to start off with. There is an astringency that presents a peppery bite of green wood and agave, NOT what a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot should taste like and I don't care where it is from or who the Winemaker is, period. Following these notes up is one of Oak that is superficial at best. Let me elaborate for a second on that Black pepper note that I just mentioned.
Domaines Barons de Rothschild - Lafite
I love when the note of Black Pepper is presented in a red wine, to me it brings a sense of presence or backbone to a wine. There are Tannins and they are smooth and ripe but what good are they if the rest of the wine is deficient in good flavor? The Finish on the wine seemed to be watered down and while the other notes didn't disappear they were subdued to a large extent by that watery type Finish.
   Today was busy especially in the Loft. While I normally come up here with my kids and Max, my German Shepherd the kids will play on their Computers and Max will play with his bone today was a little different as the kids got new Laptops for the holiday ( Hanukkah) and they needed to be set up. A lot of time (2 hours) was spent doing the setup and the wine spent that time getting a chance to open up or develop. Here is what happened to the wine. Beginning at the Bouquet, did it change at all? The short answer is no, it did not. The Palate, did it develop at all? The answer is yes, ever so slightly. How did it develop? The wine began to display slightly more flavor in the sugar area but that flavor did not last for long as it faded quickly. I am now back to a mediocre wine at best. I am just going to move to the closing paragraph and end this review of a rather disappointing wine.
   First thing is first folks, let's set the record straight. A wine is called a "Bordeaux" only because it is grown in the part of France named "Bordeaux". Other then this fact, the word is just that, a word. To say that all Bordeaux's are great or even good is like saying that every wine made in Napa is good or great, it's simply not so. The same thing goes for a Bordeaux. Folks, I am not feeling this wine. Remember this wine is simply a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot, two rather common grapes nothing more, it is not some blend of exotic grapes and despite where it grows or who makes it there is a process and everything in that process must go fairly well in order to make a good or great wine. Somewhere along the line things went not quite so right. Overall here, the wine is okay and that's it. It is a drinkable but a disappointing wine as well. It starts right away in the Mouth rather nicely but almost immediately drops everything it promised and enters the Twilight Zone as far as taste. I really can't say anything good about the wine, I'm sorry guys. From the Label to the Bouquet to the Palate, the wine fails in all categories. There was a song with lyrics that said "don't believe the hype" and it seems as if the song was in reference to this wine. In short, the wine falls flat and in my opinion is a failure.Sauvignon (https://desertwineguy.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-desert-wine-guy-2014-awning-estate.html) at Wine Of The Month Club for around $13. No, it doesn't have the word Bordeaux" on the label but it blows this wine away. There it is, plain, simple & straight for you to read. On The Desert Wine Guy rating scale, I give this wine 83 (A wine that is not worth mentioning) points.Yes, it is palatable but certainly not worth wasting your time on especially when you have the 2014 Awning Cabernet

                                                                                                                 The Desert Wine Guy

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Monday, December 24, 2018

The Desert Wine Guy - 2017 Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc


   At the time of the writing of this article it is of course Winter. That however has never stopped The Desert Wine Guy from enjoying whatever wine varietal I feel like enjoying. By the way, I am hereby giving you permission to follow suit :) So what are you tasting today Mr. desert Wine Guy? Excellent question there dear readers. Today I will be tasting the 2017 Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc (http://www.whitehaven.co.nz/default.aspx). Today my best friend (Mrs. Desert Wine Girl) and I were out at Costco today doing some shopping and I made my usual visit to the wine section because they always have the nicest and sometimes coolest and rarely available wines and at the nicest prices. When I got to the wine section I was very surprised how few wines of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal were available to choose from. After doing some searching I thought that I had decided on one of the three different Sauvignon Blancs they had on display but for some reason this particular one caught my eye, I guess you could say that the 2017 Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc sort of reached out to me and well, the rest is history.
   Let me to now get to some of the specifics for this wine. This wine comes in at 13% as far as Alcohol percentage which is fairy normal for the varietal and comes from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, it is also sealed with a Screw cap. The wine was completely created in Stainless Steel and without a touch of Oak, it is distributed in America by Ernest & Julio Gallow. The wine sells for $12.99
   Let's now move to what I personally consider to be a pretty big part of any wine and one that gets very little if any attention by wine reviewers and that is the label. Many people might ask me why would someone who is supposed to be tasting and reviewing a Liquid worry about the outside container?  That is a question that until recently I could understand being asked. I would find myself wondering aimlessly up and down the wine isle in the store trying to choose a wine. Aside from going into the store with a particular varietal in mind, what I unknowingly was doing was looking for a wine that took itself seriously. Let me ask you this, what is the very first thing that attracts you to a bottle of wine? Yes, the label. Go ahead and look at the picture of the wine above and see for yourself that the label exudes sophistication and classic style. Check out the Font used for the letters as well as the different colors used. Three different and striking colors that go incredibly well together. This is what caused me to put the other wine down that I had in my hand and purchase this one.
   Lets see now how this white wine presents itself in my glass. Beginning with the outside of the glass I can tell you that the wine comes across a pale yet failrly presentable Gold. looking at the wine the technically correct way with a piece of white paper under the glass (white background) the wines edges were an even deeper Gold and formed a ring around the inside of the part of the glass over the paper. The wine elsewhere was almost clear with perhaps a very pale straw color which was only slightly visible.
   Moving now to this wines Bouquet I noticed the note of super massively clean, crisp & fruity (not sugary) gooseberry that made the wines nose stand out and me certainly stand up and take notice that this wine, at least so far, did indeed take itself very seriously. The wine immediately made it known that it was not a California expression of the varietal. A Grapefruit note comes in around the back end of the Bouquet yet certainly gets it's point across. Orange Blossom & Pear notes while certainly not exploding on the nose certainly presenting themselves for your approval (Twilight Zone anyone ). So far this wine is earning my respect all around but the really hard part is yet to come and that is will the wine impress me on the Palate. The wine also displayed for me on the Nose a certain sense of  belief that is is certainly crisp and clean with nice Acidity.
   So far so good but what am I getting off of this wine in the mouth? Let's not waste any time and get to the wines Palate presentation. After taking just two decent size sips of this wine I will very simply say, WOW, absolute WOW! Let me continue by letting you know that the Gooseberry note that is so prominent and so lovely on the nose transfers right over to the Palate.......I'll say, superbly. Since this is not a California expression of the varietal there are no sweet, sugary fruity notes that come lunging out at you. Now, don't get me wrong because I do love the California expression of the varietal as much as the Marlborough expression but they are different in their presentation of the very same grape. I do also keep in mind that aside from me there are lots of people that love one and not the other. I think that anyone who is familiar with the differences would understand and agree as well. If however, you prefer the California expression then send your (unopened) bottle of this wine to me because this is an outstandingly superb wine folks. Moving on now, there is slightly more then a touch of Meyer Lemon here yet it is
presented without the sharp "tang" that might cause you to step back and give it time to mellow or maybe even cause a dislike of the wine. Now, don't get me wrong, as there is a "tang" yet it is without that harshness or sharpness and is not overpowering nor is it anything that would offend the Palate yet it certainly does without a doubt makes its impact on the Palate. These notes blend seamlessly and lead us to out next note which is of fresh cut grass on the Palate and it and the other notes mentioned are simply freely flowing across it.  From the beginning of the wine in the mouth to the end, this wine shines with the note of this fresh cut grass. My senses right now are just being lite up with the freshness and brightness of an amazing Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. There is an amazing straw note here as well that blends right in with the other fresh notes that I am tasting. This is a dry wine readers and I think the wine would be falling short in its presentation if it weren't. Hold on folks because the wine is not done and neither am I as there are Fruit Tannins that just scream across the Palate folks and are so very apparent throughout the wines entire presentation. Now, here is where the wine changes things up a bit. There is a bit of a Tropical note here in this wine yet it is not the Tropical note that you might expect if you are partial to the hotter climate grown expression of the grape. This particular Tropical note is like a higher level fruit but is missing a good amount of the sugary, overly fruity aspect that the hotter weather expression usually brings out of the grape. Surprisingly and I believe this is also where the slight more sugary portion of the wine comes from is a Honey Suckle note present that is without a doubt also needed. I did say, without a doubt right? Without this note as well, the wine would be missing a certain something that is needed to help to complete it. Continuing with the slight tropicalness of the wine is a note that while hidden for the most part but once again leaves its Mark is a note of Pineapple that you have to really sit back and take the time to find at first but once you do it never leaves your Taste Buds. Once again, this note is not anywhere near being an overly sugary or forward note. The Pineapple injects its flavor into the wine but leaves an overwhelming amount of its sugar at home. Continuing with this line of fruit are the fruitiness of Apricot & Nectarine that once again only bring part of their normal Sugar with them yet bring most definitely all of their taste. Together all these NORMALLY sugary and sweeter fruit forward types fruits create an absolute impact on the Palate yet without the sugar. Oh but were not done yet. There is some super nice bursting crisp zesty acidity that is presented seemingly with pride by this wine and you will be forced to sit back in your chair and take notice as it rather demands it. The wine is presenting the zesty acidity as if it is so comfortable in doing it. Here is another, absolute WOW moment.
   Well guys, I have to end this review as it is late and I have saved a glass for Dinner which is Crab Stuffed Salmon that I also bought at Costco today. With that being said, let's get to my final thoughts on the wine as well as my rating of this nice wine. First however I feel it necessary to break down what I mean by the term "tropical notes" so I'll go ahead and do that now.
   If I could explain the meaning of the term "tropicalness" in general I would use the comparison of Sugar brilliance, Apple, Melon, ripe Peach. These notes are usually reserved for a California expression of the Sauvignon Blanc as opposed to Lemongrass, Lime, Grapefruit which is usually reserved for the Marlborough, New Zealand expression of the varietal. These notes are generally what you can expect from each expression of the same grape.
   So here we are at the closing of this review. Folks, Super crispness throughout the entire tasting of the wine as well as on the finish is just one of the notes that this wine wants to express to you. This is without a doubt the best Marlborough expression of this varietal that I have ever tasted, plain and simple. The wine is so super fresh, the wine is juicy, obviously young, grassy and is the new standard for the New Zealand expression of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal. On The Desert Wine Guy rating scale I am proudly, excitedly giving this wine 94 points. Let's talk for a minute about I recommend you eat with this wine for Lunch or Dinner. I am thinking Shrimp, Lobster, Crab and a serious Salmon perhaps stuffed with that Crab such as like I previously said I will be having tonight. Ill throw in peppery Chicken into the mix. Either way you go will put you into absolute Heaven. For those of you who are into this sort of thing, here (http://www.whitehaven.co.nz/UserFiles/Pdfs/tastingnote-210.pdf) is the Tech Sheet for the wine.

P.S. - This brings me to a challenge of sorts. Chill the wine in your Freezer for two hours. Break out the wine and your favorite White wine glass. Yes folks, the good Crystal glass that you save for the "good" White Wine". Go to where ever you are going to relax and open the bottle. Pour a half a glass and take a small sip. I always taste in small sips by the way. With the wine in your mouth, sit back and gently (this isn't a Mouthwash) circulate the wine throughout your Palate. Allow the wine to sit in your mouth, in every part of your mouth, are you tasting that? DO you see what I mean about everything that I have written in my review? This is an Intense wine Ladies &Gentleman. A wine that isn't too proud to be sold to us, the Common Folk at a place where we shop. I give tremendous respect to the Winemakers  Sam Smail and Diana Katardzhieva. Enjoy the wine folks.

                                                                                                                 The Desert Wine Guy

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Desert Wine Guy - 2016 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc


   Today's wine for review is unfortunetly the 2016 Kim Crawford (http://www.kimcrawfordwines.com/us/our-wines/) Sauvignon Blanc. Here is another wine that I purchased while doing some shopping at Costco, it also happened to be the only Sauvignon Blanc that was available in the store at the time. I was hoping that I kind of lucked out as it originates from the Marlborough AVA (Wairau Valley ) of New Zealand but I realized after drinking it, why it was the only Sauvignon Blanc left. The reason in my opinion is that no one wanted it. Our review wine comes in at 13% Alcohol, sells for $9.99 and is sealed with a Screw Cap.
   Let's begin this very short review today at the wines appearance in the my glass. Watery looking in the middle with spectacular Gold edges that actually extend about a half an inch into the glass. On the nose the wine exhibits tremendous herbaceous notes combined with White Grapefruit. A note of Nectarine makes an attempt to shine thru but is mostly subdued to a large extent. My nose also picked notes of Lemon Grass and Stone, both were about the same strength as the Nectarine. All in all the Bouquet was semi complex and rather nice, acidic and stony.
   On the Pallete the wine simply falls apart and I begin having some major issues with it. This wine is extremely heavy on the acidity side, way heavy on the acidity side and I for one don't like it. Lemon Grass is heavy in the wine and as you can probably imagine, the two notes being overdone and together do not make for a pleasant tasting wine. Upon first tasting the wine you very quickly think that you are tasting Tropical fruits, which you are but the big problem comes right after that immediate tropical note and that is there is a huge amount of tart / acidic lemony / Stone-fruit type notes that just envelope the Palette and overtakes everything else. There is tropical melon and a sour Green Apple as well as Grapefruit that I tasted in here but overall the offensive notes take control / dominance and simply......ruin / destroy the wine. 
   Let's wrap this review up as in my opinion it is not worth a lenghty review. At first I was thinking that perhaps the issue I found here is that this wine is extremely dry. My overall impression of this wine is summed up in four words and they are these, crisp, grassy, snappy and offensive. I'm sorry folks, you can read other peoples reviews of this wine and you will find that it appears that everyone loves it. I'll stick to my opinion and rating of this wine which is 81 points which is specifically reserved for wines that are "Not recommended, offensive notes or lacking and redeeming qualities". Yeah, I said no "redeeming qualities"

                                                              The Desert Wine Guy

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Desert Wine Guy - 2014 Awning Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Awning Estate - Cabernet Sauvignon


   Sooooo, the first thing that I want to bring to your attention in this review is that this the very first red wine that I have ever seen that has a Screw Cap to seal it. I am sure you already know by now but if you don't I will tell you, I do not like Screw Caps and this is not Soda or some other fizzy soft drink. This is not Mad Dog 20/20 or Night Train, this is real wine. Actually, this actually normally is a $20 bottle of wine at that. I can put up with (not like) or deal with a Screw Cap on a white wine but on a red? So, let's get into this review, talk about this wine and see if there is any saving grace for this wine.
   The other day I received an E-Mail from the Wine Of The Month Club (https://desertwineguy.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-desert-wine-guy-review-of-wine-of.html) that advertised the 2014 Awning Estate - Cabernet Sauvignon wine for $4.99. Now, I am always getting E-Mails from them with wine deals but I usually have other wines in the house so while I will check them out on the Internet, I usually don't end up buy them. What I have found is that when they say a wine sells for $20 elsewhere they are always telling the truth. Well for some reason I was interested in this particular wine and when I checked it out on other sites I saw that this wine that was selling for $4.99 here was indeed selling for $20 everywhere else. After seeing some "reputable" sites also raving over this wine I decided to but four (4) bottles of  it. The reason I usually don't buy wine on line is because of the shipping costs, in this case however the shipping was $12.....for four wines. That, is really good. Anyway, that is why and how I came to be reviewing this wine. Now, onto specifics of the wine.
   The wine comes in at 13.5% Alcohol and is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah (Shiraz), 2% Petit Verdot. The wine is imported from the country of Chile by Austral Wines LLC.  The grapes for the wine were all grown at the Awning Estate. Something interesting here is that I have learned is that in Chile a wine must be at least 75% of a specific varietal for it to carry that particular varietal as the sole one on the label AND be consumed in Chile. If the wine is exported it must have 85% and must also have 85%from the designated vintage year. To list a particular wine region one particular varietal must be at least 85% from that region. The Winemaker for our wine is Sergio Hormazabal Baglietto who's remarkable resume includes making wine on three continents, with experience in Spain, France, Italy and the United States. Sergio was awarded Winemaker of the Year in Chile in 2012. Now that's what I'm talking about. Here (http://goldenfrogproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Awning_TechSheet_2014.pdf) is the Tech Sheet for the wine and for those of you who are as interested in that sort of thing as I totally am. The wine was matured in French Oak (25% new) for 12 months. Alright then, it is time to move on to the next phase of this review and that is the labeling of the wine so let's go ahead and get to that now.
   Looking at the label here I see there really isn't really what you could consider to be a label on this wine, it is more of lettering. Looking at the bottle I wanted to stare at it for a long time as it was beautiful. Look at the pictures that I have included, are you liking it as much as I do? Not only is the front of the bottle beautiful but the back of the bottle which has the same type of lettering is also very informative and tells you a lot about the wine as well. I believe it is a nice touch of elegance and impressive as well.
   Now onto the appearance of the wine in my glass, in other words what am I seeing? Well, I'm glad you asked because I am seeing a very dark red / Garnet in color wine with the bottom of the glass just barely visible to me. The wine is extremely consistent in it's appearance all the way through from the edges of the wine all the way until the middle of the glass. Some wines appear lighter then others at different points in the glass. This is another wine that as far as appearances also looks rather serious minded indeed. Looking at the glass from the outside there are long thin legs (Marangoni Effect) that were put on a nice display as they ran down the side of the glass. I wish my Cellphone was able to pick them up but it cannot and I'm too lazy to break out my good Camera, sorry. Well anyway, lets do some more checking into this wine and get to its Bouquet.
Paul Kalemkiarian (owner Wine of The Month Club) & Ed Masciana
   So here we are, onto the Bouquet of our $4.99 bottle of wine. First up is a semi Dark Cherry note that meshes rather nicely with a note of medium Oak. The Dark cherry note is dominating but not by much. Both notes get together to combine for almost a note of their own and one that you most defenitely can taste is a well put together and serious one. There is a Blackberry note as well here but you have to (and should) kind of seek out as it comes toward the back end of the Bouquet. Weirdly. There is also a sort of ultra light, almost hidden in the back, vegetable type note that I have never experienced expressed in this way this before. Now, before you go getting crazy one me I should let you know that I do like it and also let you know that no, this is not the smell of a bad wine, it is however the smell of a rather unique wine. If you really want to pick up that Vegetable type note you must really take your time and check deep into the wine glass because that is where it is. Let's now talk about a super nice and super deep note of an oakey, Baked Cocoa that manages rather nicely to somehow blend in with the vegetable type note and tone it way down to as I said, the way back end of the Bouquet. One last thing I must repeat to you guys is that if you choose to simply give a once over of the wines Bouquet, you will definitely NOT pick up the vegetable note but you will pick up that medium Oakey type note of the Baked Cocoa. I don't know about you but at this point in my review I am thinking "$4.99 huh"
   Guys I to take a break for a minute and I am going to give you guys a heads up of sorts by telling you that I have to admit that I have been so busy enjoying this wine that it has taken a really long time to get to this point of the review. While it may appear that my reviews are written within an hour or so trust me, they are not, particullary this one. I will get into my wine review the process at another time but for now just know that I can be in my Loft (Office) for 3-4 hours tasting the wine and rocking out to 80s music. I know, I know, poor Desert Wine Guy :). As I said, I have been rather distracted on this review as I found myself caught up in my ultra enjoyment of this wine. Well, I am done for the moment being distracted with the wine so I have time to tell you what I am tasting so let's get to that part of the review.
Cabernet Sauvignon
   Right off the bat with this wine is the note of spiced Cherry, not a sweet Cherry but rather an incredible spiced Cherry that is darkened with a super wonderful French Oak, wow.just wow.  Now, I am going to say the following however I don't wish that any of my readers to take the following note for an overly sugary or sweet one. The wine seems to express a note that some (me included) might call......slightly......"Jammy" yet it is not the jamminess that we all are used to and that (in my opinion) absouletely destroys a wine. Readers, this wine is not sweet, nor is it sugary, nor is it a jam sandwich. Yes, there is just an ever so slight touch of a Jamminess note which is where any sugar on the Palate might come from BUT in no way can it be said that this an overly sweet, poorly made wine, so far at least. There is a note of Blackberry yet it doesn't dominate the Palate because of the jamminess note that appears to keep everything in this wine in it's proper perspective and in check. There is Acidity on the Palate as well that seems to encompass the entire Palate yet is not anywhere near being what I would consider offensive to the Palate or overdone. Having thrown out to you a necessary defense of the wine I hopefully also provided for the easing of your mind when hearing the word "jamminess" in relation to this wine I now without any doubt need to discuss with you guys the Cassis that his wine is proud to seriously present. I want to use just two simple words here to describe the Cassis and they are "mouth encompassing", what do you think about that? The Cassis note exhibited in this wine is just simply.......outstanding, yeah really. Not really soft on one hand yet not overpowering on the other either. In other words, simply perfection in my book. I have noticed that at least in my opinion, it seems that all of the red wines that I have rated in the mid ninety's all seem to have that expression of really nice or rather "aggressive" Cassis or Tannins. I have a little more to say about this in the closing paragraph. Let's discuss now a note of Ceder that somehow manages to appear in the wine and yes, I did say Cedar. I know that the wine sat in French Oak yet I can't see to shake the note that I am picking up of Cedar. Super nice and super up front this note is really enjoyable. As I continue on here lets talk about more notes that this wine proudly presents. Ripe Berries jump forward and almost seems to beg for themselves to be noticed from the wine drinker. Here again is another darker type mood that the wine loves to set as there is no soft brightness or lightness in this wine, it is serious all the way from the opening all the wayto the finishing of the bottle. The wine presents as well a note of Coffee which once again adds to the the moderately dark depth of overall the wine. Folks, this is a red that is the epitome of a juicy wine yet is also on the moderately dark side yet is not overbearingly on that dark side as the notes are not not overpowering in the least bit. Now, what I am about to say may surprise you as much as it did me. There seems to be an elegance of sorts to this wine that appears to kind of come out of nowhere. I first noticed it when I sat back in my chair and was trying to decipher exactly what a particular feeling the wine was presenting. I mean yes, I certainly knew about the dark boldness of the wine yet there was something else.  What I discovered is that I was feeling a sort of sense of Elegance that the wine was presenting and it was actually throughout its entire presentation. Perhaps the elegance is because of the Syrah varietal that is being expressed here, I am not surebut what I am sure of is that it only adds to the wines superbly crafted presentation. Folks, keep in mind throughout this review the amazing fact that I paid $4.99 for the wine so when I tell you now that the wine is presenting more that I need to tell you about you will know why I am in absolute amazement. How about some Anise and earthy leather? These notes are so much more then merely, detectable, they first appear on the front Palate and extend to the mid Palate. The quality of these notes are what you would expect from aat least a $50 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Leather in particular brings a sort of toughness to the Palate that when combined with the Cassis is........well, once again, out of this world guys. The Leather note is as comfortable on the Palate as a jacket that you have just broken out for the Winter as it feels like an old friend. I somehow get the feeling that some of the wines Palate directing notes come from the Syrah. How can a Varietal that is a mere 12%  make such an impact on a wine? All I can say is that perhaps it is the nature of that particular grape. I'm thinking as well that perhaps that is where the darkness or depth of the wine comes from as well. So, the wine has all of these wonderful notes but how about some silky Tannins, can the wine have that note as well? The answer is both yes and no. While the Tannins are front and center they are not in my humble opinion what you would say are dominate or in need of settling down.Oh yeah, for some the Tannins (and Cassis) presented might be over the top but if you are use to enjoying the Cabernet Sauvignon varietal wines that are in the $50 range and higher you are at home here as the wine is happy to be what it is. Currant, and licorice. You mean there is more to the wine there Desert Wine Guy? Oh gosh, yes there is. I believe that Black Currant is where that perfect presentation of Jamminess might perhaps be coming from. This fruit also I believe assists in bringing the wine to expose that juiciness that it exhibits from beginning to end. As I mentioned earlier, this wine has a semi-dark presence that it just loves to present to its enjoyer. You simply can't avoid that presence because to do so would have you avoiding the entire wine, it is that nice. Let's go ahead and add one more note shall we? Before I get to the closing paragraph I need to talk about a super, really nice note of Black Pepper that this wine is proud to show off. Readers add all the other notes onto that of the Black Pepper note and whatever good things you are imagining, that is what the wine is. Once again, nothing overdone here yet you will taste and appreciate the Black Pepper and it only adds to the greatness of this wine. Guys, I must end this review now as I seem to have spent a lot of the time working on it as well as enjoying the wine. Mrs. Desert Wine Girl has cooked a wonderful Dinner of smoked Chicken and I must get going. With all this being said I must move to the closing paragraph and give my final thoughts and rating of this wine.
   I know that I keep saying this but this wine present itself as more of a wine that would normally go for $50 instead of of the $4.99 or $20 that it would normally cost. Go the the Wine of The Month Club and buy the wine, NOW! Readers, I am not sure how they are able to sell this wine for what they are selling it for but you need to buy the wine. I am about to E-Mail them and ask them how they are doing it so hold on a second. Okay, so I really did E-Mail them and I will include their response in my final review. Guys, after drinking the entire bottle here are my recommendations. Let the wine Decant for about an hour, that's it. Although a simple recommendation the wine is certainly way much more then a simple wine. This is a full bodied red wine and one that not only demands but deserves your time and respect, it certainly has mine. This is a wine that managed to receive three spots in my wine cellar......yeah, you read that right folks, three spots as I will be entering three bottles into my collection. If you are worried about the Tannins and Cassis being too overbearing have no fear as you too can place some bottles into your Cellar as well and hold them for a few years. I know that there are those of you who have a real dislike for those two notes of Cassis and Tannins when presented in what might be considered "aggressive" levels, for those of you I would either look elsewhere for a red or follow my suggestion and put the wine away for a few years. As for me the Cassis and Tannins are right now moderate in my opinion and I love them as they are are. Now, did I say cellar a $4.99 wine? Yes, I did say cellar a $4.99 wine. Folks at some sites this wine is already unavailable at others it is indeed around $20. This is a succulent and juicy wine that will absolutely floor you. None of the notes mentioned which the wine presents and which are mentioned in this review are out of position on the Palate, they are well thought out and almost wait in line for one another and for their time to impress. Those notes are also near perfect representations of what they are meant to be in this varietal and when crafted perfectly. There isn't any unwanted softness nor is there any harshness to the wine. I have to just simply get to the point here. On The Desert Wine Guy Rating I give this wine 94 points. An Absolutely spectacular wine at a absolutely spectacular price.
  
P.S - The Wine of The Month Club responded to my E-Mail which said " Today I receoved four (4) bottles of the 2014 Awning Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and am in the process of writing a review on it. WHat an outstanding wine it is. I promised my readers that I would stop the review however in order to ask how you are able to sell this wine for $4.99? This is an incredable wine and I will be getting more soon." The wine club said "Thank you for the kind message! That is nice that you are spreading the word about the bottle, it is one of my favorites too. Our cellarmaster Paul got this bottle for a really great deal with a personal connection he has and right now we have a surplus amount of it, so that is why it went on sale for such an amazing price! If you have any other questions, please let me know and I can help. Have a lovely day!" By the way I just checked and the wine has gone up to $12.48 (their normal price) which is still a great deal.Now, if I haven't already said enough, I must end this review with a big push for the Wine of The Month Club. Here (https://desertwineguy.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-desert-wine-guy-review-of-wine-of.html) is an article that I wrote on them a few years ago. By the way, I get nothing in the form of compensation nor do I know anyone who works for them.
                                                                                                                               The Desert Wine Guy

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