Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wines I'm Drinking: 2004 Newell Vineyards "For 2" San Antonio Valley Cabernets/Petite Sirah

Tonight I tasted the 2004 Newell Vineyards "For 2" San Antonio Valley Proprietary Red. The wine is from a producer and wine growing area I know little about, but I see from Internet research that the San Antonio Valley is at the southernmost end of Monterey County at a fairly high elevation in the Santa Lucia range, not far from the ocean, which provides the warm days and cool nights wine grapes respond to so well. Wine growing in the area goes back to the Spanish period and Mission San Antonio. The wine is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Petite Syrah. Brief tasting notes follow.

Medium-deep purple-red. Oak, vanilla, tobacco, and leather predominant on the nose. Good tannin, concentrated. Still seems quite young, especially at first. Only moderately fruity and fairly soft (in the sense of not being at all sharp or acidic). Decent length. Fruit seems masked at first. Some chocolate flavors on the finish. Later, the tannins softened markedly and some nice cherry flavors developed. Not especially profound, and the wine still seems young, with veiled fruit, but a decent bottle that seems likely to continue to improve for a few years. Might be worth laying down a bottle or two if you can find it at the Grocery Outlet price (see below). If you drink this now, I recommend decanting it and allowing it some time exposed to air before pouring. Reasonably priced at $7.99 a bottle at Grocery Outlet in Santa Rosa. The wine sells for $18.50 a bottle at the winery.

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