Wine Tasting Dinner: Cabernet Sauvignon Blends



By Kori ~ March 31st, 2008.

20080330_tastingdinner.jpgOur 59th wine tasting dinner on Friday evening was one of our best ever. We enjoyed the evening with wonderful friends, Mom’s (LaGayle) delicious meal, and a fabulous set of wines. Not only were all the wines good to excellent but they are all outstanding values. Never before have all six wines from one of our dinners received a QPR score of 5 bangs for your buck. If you enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon blends, you can’t go wrong by picking up any one of these bottles.

Unlike many of our previous wine tasting dinners, this set of wines did not hail from any one particular country, state, or region. Three different countries (U.S., Australia, and France) and two states (Washington and California) were represented. The common factor is that all six wines contain some Cabernet Sauvignon. Although, as you will see below, the percentages of Cab and other varietals vary.

Remember, all of these wines are good, but here’s a rundown of the group consensus rankings from 1st to last (regions listed in parentheses):

2004 Sebastiani Secolo (Sonoma County, California): 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot, 8% Malbec, 7% Merlot, 1% Petite Sirah. Dense, deep purple with aromas of smoke, licorice, and green pepper. Dark fruits and pepper come through on the palate. Well-balanced with smooth tannins and a long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winerz.com (California), $27.00

2002 Columbia Crest Walter Clore Private Reserve (Columbia Valley, Washington): 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot. Blackberries and dill pickle on the nose. More black fruits revealed on the palate. Robust, lively acidity, medium to full-bodied, and a long, smooth finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: K&L Wine Merchants (California), $21.99

2000 Chateau Moulin Riche (Saint-Julien, Medoc, Bordeaux, France): 60-65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30-35% Merlot, and some Petit Verdot. A mix of barnyard and perfume aromas with a hint of nail polish. Tastes better than it smells. Flavors of mint and blackcurrant. Probably could benefit from decanting.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Our cost, $20.00; unfortunately, no longer available

2004 Peter Lehmann Clancy’s (Barossa Valley, Australia): 43% Shiraz, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot. Vegetal aromas and flavors, especially asparagus and green pepper. Some dark fruits emerge on the palate. Well-balanced.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: MadWine (Seattle), $13.99

2005 Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot-Cabernet (Columbia Valley, Washington): Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Much lighter and paler than the others. Aromas and flavors of cherry and caramel. A bit of funk on the finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: WinoWorld (Idaho), $7.38 [2004 is the currently available vintage]; probably can also be found at your local wine outlet

2006 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet (South Australia, Australia): 78% Shiraz, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark fruits dominate. Bold tannins. A little young; could benefit from some more bottle aging.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Wine Exchange (California), $7.99; probably can also be found at your local wine outlet


Filed under: American Wine, Australian Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, French Wine, Merlot, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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