The Cork Board’s palate pleasers for July 2008

by TrevR on August 11, 2008

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We’ve been tasting quite a bit of wine of late…we know, we know, rough life, right? Between our own personal consumption and tasting at various local wineries and restaurants, we’ve come across a few gems that we thought we’d share.

Surely many of you will be surprised by the fact that we’re only mentioning one Cabernet Sauvignon, but hey, what can we say? Now, obviously our taste will not necessarily match the tastes of everyone out there, but we found the following wines to be solid options for the money.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Cliff Lede Vineyards’ 2007 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
One of the winery’s more widely distributed offerings, the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc is made up of 99% Sauvignon Blanc and 1% Sauvignon Musque with the majority of the fruit sourced from a vineyard in the southeastern hills of the Napa Valley (this wine represents the only varietal the winery does not grow itself). On the nose we got the typical Sauvignon Blanc aromas of citrus, peach and passion fruit, but where we were pleasantly surprised was with the mouthfeel. This wine was noticeably weightier than a typical Sauvignon Blanc, which the winery attributes to its special, egg-shaped, cement fermentation tanks that add a certain richness to the end product. At $22 per 750ml bottle (retail), we say give it a swirl.

Cliff Lede Vineyards’ 2005 Cinnamon Stardust from the Stags Leap District
Made up of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot, the ’05 Cinnamon Stardust had hints of nuts and rosemary on the nose and on the palate showed a nice, balanced mixture of spice and dark fruits. We especially enjoyed the big finish. A very solid Cabernet, there were just over 600 cases produced and the wine is only available through the winery’s mailing list ($90 per 750ml bottle). The wine was named after the Poetry Vineyard blocks from which the fruit came “Cinnamon Girl” and “Ziggy Stardust”.

Mumm Napa’s Cuvee M
This sparkler is made up of 48% Chardonnay, 43% Pinot Noir, 6% Pinot Gris and 3% Pinot Meunier. In the glass, it showed a slightly more rosy color, most likely due to the Pinot Noir, and on the nose we got a yummy, strong strawberry scent. At 12.5% alcohol, the Cuvee M had nice, full pear flavors on the palate and was light without lacking in flavor. At just $20 per 750ml bottle, we could see ourselves utilizing this wine as an excellent counter-balance to any spicy Asian dish or perhaps serving it along with dessert.

Related information interview with Cliff Lede Vineyards
Cliff Lede Vineyards photos
Mumm Napa photos

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, wine, winery, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Mumm Napa, Mumm Napa Cuvee M, Cliff Lede 2007 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Cliff Lede 2005 Cinnamon Stardust]

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About the Author

has written 725 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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