Tag Archive for cherry

Bandit Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

Bandit Wines Cabernet Sauvignon
California

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Bandit Wines is a boxed wine company that you can find on Safeway’s lowest shelf. I haven’t had much boxed wine in my life. But when I tap into the foodie party line, I hear from craft enthusiasts that beer in a can has no metallic aftertaste and that boxed wine can be just as good as wine in a bottle. It appears as though mere reputation alone has kept me from embracing either thus far.

I’m not ready for beer in a can. I’m barely ready for beer in a pint glass—half pints do me well. But wine in a box? I could try that…and I swear my willingness has nothing to do with how ridiculously cheap this box was (about $5). Nope, what sold me is what that the pretty little lavender box said clear as day (good job, marketing!): At a liter, one box is the equivalent of one and a third bottles of wine, making it even more ridiculously cheap than it already was. Sold!

(Yes, I realize that means I bought it for exactly the same reason as I claimed I didn’t buy it. You don’t need to tell me that. And now I’ve lost my literary effect. I blame you.)

How does it taste? As I drink, I feel a kinship emerge with one Violet Beauregarde and her amazement as the gum she chewed at Willy Wonka’s factory shifted and reshaped itself into something new. A lovely, simple, cherry-leather nose broadens to include eucalyptus and pine notes on the palate. Those fade away, and the cherry reasserts itself to engage in delicious dessert play with milky cocoa. Luckily, no adverse side effects have been detected…yet.

I’ll be clear; this wine exceeds all my expectations. It gets an 80/100, and I will be back for more of that value buy. Heck, I’ll even give their chardonnay a chew.

Here’s my full Quini profile for more specific tasting notes:

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Intertwine Merlot 2013

Intertwine Merlot 2013
Oakville, CA
Intertwine

This red wine blend from Bridget Raymond uses mostly merlot from Napa Valley. It needs aeration to come to its full potential. Running it through an oxidizer worked well enough for me, but a few hours out in the decanter would also be fine.

After that initial step, take a sip. It’s like biting into your first piece of dark chocolate. It’s so very different from milk chocolate that you’re not sure you like it….but you keep nibbling. Eventually, you’ll recognize bright cherry undertones and wonder what you did with your life before that first bite.

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It just barely eked out that rating with 61/100 on the Quini scale.

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Most notably, the coloring is not that appealing and without aeration, texture is grainy and pulpy. Let it breathe, and that mellows out with an intriguing finish. It’s worth drinking—I’m pretty sure I’m ordering more if it’s still available. If it is, you can pick it up at NakedWines.Com for $35.50. That’ll be only $15.00 if you sign up to become an Angel through that ad on the right side of this page. Click right here just to buy the bottle: Buy me!

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Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir 2011

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir 2011
California

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From the label, it sounds as though this wine is a blend of pinot noir grapes from around the state. I know Mondavi is a huge name in the wine world, but I honestly haven’t tried much from their label, though I sold plenty of it when I worked in restaurants. This bottle was on a good discount at Safeway, taking it below $10 and thus right at my standard wine price range.

I smell tart cherries with a smooth eucalyptus. It’s thin-bodied. My first thought is that it’s too smooth in flavor, lacking character. But as I chew on it, I appreciate how mellow it is, a nice break from strong tannins. The main notes are vanilla, barely there açai berry, cherry, and a hint of chalky eucalyptus.

It works. It’s not at all memorable, but it works.

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