Straight Out Of the Bottle: It is clear that the 2008 Reverie Cabernet Sauvignon needs a little time to open up. This wine is complex with notes of chocolate, raspberry, oak, and anise. While, the tannins were a bit robust straight out of the bottle, our hopes are that they will hopefully mellow with a little time in the decanter. This vintage may also benefit from a little more time in the cellar but it is drinking well right now.
Decanting (1-1.5 hours): With time this wine opened up into a fantastic cab! True to the varietal, this Cabernet Sauvignon is on the bigger side with nice notes of dark red fruit, oak, and a hint of cracked black pepper. A nice surprise coming out of this vintage is a strong jammy note of fresh raspberries mixed with melted milk chocolate. The oak characteristic mellowed out quite a bit and is now melding perfectly with the other notes. Overall, we are extremely pleased with this wine! While it is on the pricier side, if you get a chance to enjoy the 2008, it is definitely worth it!
Handicap ($77): 95
Good value for the price.
Immediately out of the bottle, we decided that this wine needed a little time to oxidize and mellow out. The tannins were pretty rough, making this wine abrasive and not very approachable.
With some time in the decanter (~30 min), it became a simple, fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon. There wasn’t a lot of interesting features with this wine, but the tannic structure after mellowing out in the decanter, became smooth and enjoyable.
While it was a simple wine with not a lot of depth or character, it is a great wine to enjoy when you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a bottle.
Handicap ($11): 90
For cheap wine, this is a definite repeat!
Straight out of the bottle, this Colorado wine is a nice surprise to add to the mix. On the front, the tannins have matured and provide a velvety, soft texture. Flavors on the front part of the palate include red fruit and cream. As it transcends the palate, it loses its “Umph”, but returns on the back. The finish is subtle and dry, but has notes of oak and tobacco that seem to linger on.
Overall, this is an enjoyable wine. While it doesn’t carry the big, bold masculinity of the heavy hitter Cabernet Sauvignons out there, it is a nice wine to enjoy on an evening in.
Handicap ($25): 80
First impressions of the latest release from Educated Guess were less than stellar. While this Cabernet Sauvignon did carry some nice notes of body, it lacked the complexity and familiarity of the great wines they were producing pre-2008. In fairness, the price point has come down quite a bit as their older releases were in the $30 range and the new releases are under $20.
On the front of the palate we got bright red fruit and spice, which transcended into a nice butter component that envelops the palate. While the butter flavor was enjoyable, I would have liked to see some more depth and complexities of the older vintages.
Overall this is a nice, simple cab. For the price point it holds its own and is worth a shot if you come across it.
Handicap ($18): 88
*Straight out of the bottle: This is a bigger, Colorado cabernet sauvignon that definitely needs some time to open up and relax. We decided to decant from first impressions.
*Decanted (for about an hour): With some time to oxidize and mellow out, this younger cabernet sauvignon opened up into a pretty tasty wine. Fruit forward, this medium-bodied wine offers mild acidity to the palate with hints of vanilla and oak. It has a cream undertone that comes through in the middle of the palate, which transcends into black pepper with hints of ripe blueberries. This wine is drinking pretty nicely right now, however, will only get better with some time in the bottle.
Raw Score: 84 Handicap Score (Compared to other wines and varietals in its price range $36): 75
Maybe with some time this wine will open up and align with the traditional varietal characteristics. For the price point there are better wines out there, however, it is always good to support the local wineries in Colorado.
*Straight out of the bottle: This is a very interesting Colorado wine straight out of the bottle. It is medium bodied with most of the flavors and notes on the front portion of the palate. It is slightly acidic with young tannins that need some time to settle down and mature. On the front, we got a burst of bright red fruit that led into oak, tobacco and leather undertones. It also has a nice, dry finish that seems to linger on the palate a little longer than most.
Raw Score: 82 Handicap Score (Compared to other wines and varietals in its price range $20): 84
*Straight out of the bottle: First tastes instantly tells us that this wine is extremely powerful and needs time to open up; super complex.
We chose to decant this wine as per recommendations from the winemakers.
*Decanted (for about an hour and a half): With time, we couldn’t believe how phenomenal this wine opened up into! It was full bodied, hitting the varietal characteristics spot on for a true cabernet sauvignon! Indeed, this is an extremely BIG, BOLD, and MASCULINE wine that will knock the socks off any cultured wine drinker. Flavors of ripe and juicy dark fruit led into notes of espresso, annice, mint, dark chocolate, berries, vanilla, and oak. I couldn’t have asked more from a wine that continued to open up and change as the evening continued. Towards the back of the palate, we got the traditional Salvestrin finish that stays with you FOREVER! If you get the chance to try this amazing wine, it is OMG so worth it!
Raw Score: 97+ Handicap Score (Compared to other wines and varietals in its price range $130): 97
We chose to decant this wine as per recommended by the winemakers.
*Decanted (for about an hour): The Clio is always a fantastic, solid cabernet sauvignon blend coming out of Spain. With time in the decanter, the tight complexities opened up and transformed into an AMAZING and very delicious wine. This heavy hitter, powerful wine is very big, masculine, and proves to deliver over and over again with each new vintage. This year in particular kept its solid cabernet sauvignon varietal characteristics starting out with nice ripe, dark fruit that leads into a perfectly balance jammy middle. These flavors lead into oak, mint, black licorice, cream de cassis, and vanilla. Time in the decanter allowed for the tannins to soften up quite a bit and take on a nice, velvety texture.
For the price, this wine will beat out several $100+ bottles in the same category!
Raw Score: 94 Handicap Score (Compared to other wines and varietals in its price range $40): 95
We chose to decant this wine as per recommended by the winemakers.
*Decanted (for about an hour): First tastes solidifies any notion that Salvestrin is making a great cabernet sauvignon! This 2007 estate cab is one of the best wines we have tried in a while and we couldn’t expect more. It is the textbook definition of what the varietal should taste like – it is a BIG, strong, powerful wine that is very fruit forward, transitioning to a jammy middle with hints of cream de cassis and vanilla bean, and finishing with oak, mint, and anise – and just a subtle hint of cocoa. The velvety tannins add to the structure and complexity of the wine making it very enjoyable to drink.
Raw Score: 94 Handicap Score (Compared to other wines and varietals in its price range $50): 94
*For those of you who can get your hands on Salvestrin’s wines, this is fantastic!
*Food Pairing: We paired this great wine with a bacon-wrapped black pepper filet and grilled asparagus. This powerful cabernet sauvignon really added to the enjoyment of the meal by complementing the peppery and meatiness of the steak and the rich and saltiness of the bacon. Enjoy!
*Straight out of the bottle: This is another fantastic cabernet sauvignon put of by Louis Martini! It starts off very fruit forward on the palate with hints of lush, ripe cherries and blackberry leads into new flavors of vanilla , while ending with a smooth dry, oak finish. While it carries more of a medium body, it makes up for the lack of power with perfectly aged, velvety tannins that adds structure and a quality to the wine – making it super enjoyable to drink!
We chose to drink this wine as it was, straight out of the bottle – since it was drinking very nice.
Raw Score: 90 Handicap Score (Compared to other wines and varietals in its price range $25): 93