Tag Archive for tasting notes

Akiyoshi Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Akiyoshi Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Clarksburg, CA

David Akiyoshi is one of NakedWines.Com’s go-to winemakers in California. So far, I’ve tried his 2013 Sangiovese Rosé, and it placed firmly in my second-best grouping, the Avocados. That’s a 69/100 on the Quini scale. All that means is I expect a pretty good, though probably not exceptional, wine as I open this cabernet sauvignon.

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I stare at a cup holding the blood of many slain burgundy roses. Or grapes. They were probably grapes. The nose is waxy cinnamon, plum, and everything else I will list in the Quini profile that follows. Drinking it takes me on a journey with my mother’s favorite movie star, the young Shirley Temple. I am compelled to write a new verse for “The Good Ship Lollipop,” and I only hope the actress can forgive me from her heavenly vantage point:

“Oh, the good ship Berry-pop, made of cardamom and cinnamon logs, floats off to where violets sway, in the tasty Coconut Roll Bay.”

The finish is simple but lasts forever, unlike that new verse of song, which I’m trying to forget I wrote even as type this next sentence. The wine is certainly complex, but it could use more balance. Perhaps aging would bring it?

Here is my full Quini profile:

Akiyoshi Quini Profile
That 76/100 places it ahead of its rosé sister but not quite into my highest rank. It still earns an rating_avocado1.

I think it’s safe to say I like David Akiyoshi’s wines despite wanting more balance in this one. If you’re intrigued, you can purchase his 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon through NakedWines.Com by clicking this button. It’ll take you right to it:

nakedwinescom

It’s selling for $18.99 if you aren’t an Angel with NakedWines.Com, which is a fair deal. If you are an Angel, it’s an amazing deal at $10.99! To find out more about the NakedWines.Com Angels program, click here.

Reviewed 10 March 2015.

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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:

Bandit_Quini

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Woodchuck’s Cheeky Cherry Cider

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Obligatory disclaimer! I received this bottle of Woodchuck’s new Cheeky Cherry Cider free for review. And I’m pretty darn excited about it because it’s a departure from Woodchuck’s other fruit-infused ciders. I enjoy cider more than beer in the category of easily quaffable alcohol, and I appreciate that Woodchuck has been successful enough to make it nearly a given that most supermarkets and bars will have a hard cider option.

But in keeping with our American traditions, Woodchuck’s amber, peach, and pear ciders are generally much sweeter than European styles of cider-making…and well, I like it dry. So as I prepare to flip the lid on this Cheeky Cherry, I do so knowing it’s been quite some time since I’ve had a bottle of Woodchuck anything.

The Cheeky Cherry is made with bittersweet cider apples and infused with sour cherry juice after fermentation. It is meant to make you pucker, as the bottle label proclaims along with a selfie call to arms that I’d rather not repeat here out of respect to copy writers everywhere. I am reticent before trying it for the reasons I’ve already described, and I’m expecting a Sourpatch Kids version of a cider. My husband is a HUGE fan of sour beers, but admittedly, I am not that fond of them. Yet I find picturing a sour cider as a candied apple oddly appealing.

The color helps.

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It’s as blood red as blood red can get. For maximum punnage, I want to say it’s red delicious but it’s deeper, more sultry than that. There’s very little smell, maybe a little wood, which is unexpected. But I have a cold, so I’m probably imagining that.

Tasting it, I’m surprised right away by how great it actually is. It’s much drier than their other fruit-infused ciders, which is most notable when it initially hits my tongue and after the cider has lingered for a while. The acidity is much less than expected, which is a boon for my taste buds. Think lemonade, not Lemonheads. This cider also captures apple and cherry notes in a harmonious blend that would run the risk of being so smooth, it’s boring…if the sour factor didn’t break through that with an aftertaste that entices me back sip after sip.

I enjoyed it and wouldn’t hesitate to order it next time I want a cider. You can get it through March 2015 as part of Woodchuck’s Out on a Limb six-packs.

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