Met some buddies at the Kroger Marketplace in Centerville, OH for their Friday tasting – wines from Duckhorn, plus a bonus Knight’s Valley Cabernet from Beringer. The tasting venue is very nice – a good ambience, decent glasses, and complimentary nibbles.
Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc (2011) Napa Valley, California, $30.
A bright brassy color. It needs to warm up a bit, then the aroma becomes quite heady. A creamy mouthfeel, with sweet citrus and just a little acrid on the finish. After it warms up, there’s more grass and gooseberry, with a hint of lemongrass. A big body – 13% alcohol.
Migration Chardonnay (2009) Russian River Valley, California, $30.
Straw yellow in color, with butter and grilled toast aromas. A moderate style – it’s not overoaked. Notes of golden apple and sweet butter, pretty tasty. 14.1% alcohol, so it’s not overly hot or oily. Recommended.
Decoy Red Blend (2010) Napa Valley, California, $25.
They don’t print the blend details on the label, but this is composed of Bordeaux varieties with some Zin, if memory serves. Very California in style. It’s a dark purple-red, with a jammy/cooked fruit nose. Lots of blackberry, cassis, and plum, with some toasty oak. Medium-weight tannins – it could use some air to really bring out the finish. Recommended.
Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon (2010) Sonoma Valley, California, $25.
Very dark in color, with cassis and blueberry aromas. Pretty big up front, with jammy and chewy character, but the finish runs away very quickly. Not my favorite – there are plenty of good Cabs for $20 and under that hold up longer. Not Recommended.
Beringer Knight’s Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (2010) Knight’s Valley, California, $40 marked down to $30.
The star of the show – inky dark blue-purple in color, with a big, heady aroma of chocolate and cassis. Plenty of tannin on the palate, with a reprise of fruit and cocoa that coat the tongue nicely. Recommended at the mark-down price.