Tag Archive for tasting notes

Casa Nuestra Tinto St. Helena 2011

Casa Nuestra Tinto St. Helena 2011
Oakville, Napa Valley, CA

Casa_Nuestra_Tinto

Open up this wine, and you’ll be with your sweetie in your private cabana on the beach, stomachs full of sticky rice and pork steamed in banana leaves. You pick up your glass and share one more smile before wandering over to the bonfire where the steel drummers play.

My rating:

rating_avocado1

My Quini flower & score:

Casa_Nuestra_Tinto_Flower

My Quini flavor profile:

Casa_Nuestra_Tinto_Scores

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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.

Akiyoshi_Cab_Sav
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

Bandit_Cab_sauvignon

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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