Wine Review: Bighorn Cellars 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon

I was extremely surprised when I first popped the cork from this wine. Pleasant flavors and typical aromas hit the nose before I’d poured into the glass. The cork crumble was expected since the wine was a few years old but 1996 was a good year for solid production in wine.

My reservation was with the fact that I paid $5 for this wine and it retails for like, $17 or so. The Grocery Outlet store here in Oakland has a less than stellar selection of wines and most of what we pick up I’d consider drinkable. Nothing more.

But this wine had structure though it was starting to fade. Deep red in color with tints of brown from age, this wine swirls with nice long legs. Aromas of cherry and fruit come to the nose with a welcome bit of terroir. Soft tannins and mellow undertones of berry fruit are evident with a nice medium finish.

After half an hour, the wine softened more and opened up with more sweetness on the palate and some light acidity that paired with spaghetti.

I’ll be going back to pick up a few more bottles of this cab at this procie for sure!

The winery’s website is: Bighorn Cellars. They like to specialize in small production of exemplary wines from the regions they grow best in. Also, they’re out of Oregon. Remind me to go back and read the label as I just saw they have a higher end wine for $45 and I’d be curious to know if I picked that up.

Cheers!

Wine Review news and more

Hi Folks,

I think I’ll be updating this blog on Thursdays. It makes sense to me since I do a WriteSEX update then and traffic seems to show that I get higher views on those days.

Did you enjoy my review of the Diamond Crown Robusto? If you missed it you can find it here.

After a little thought, I’ve decided to lower my price points for reviews.The purpose of any blog is to grow, but until I have more product coming in from vendors, (and more time to dedicate to obtaining samples!) I think I can provide a valuable service by hitting the mid range prices on wines/liquors/cigars. I spoke with Thomas at Grants when asking abou a higher end stick than my normal Tatuaje or Padron and he told me that slightly above $17 per cigar, you start getting into the higher end products like the Padron 80th anniversary or Fuente OpusX.

Plus, I need to expand exposure of the blog. On a brighter note, Chehalem Vineyards is sending sample bottles of wine to me. I emailed heather at the vineyard last week and she responded with a positive note and what sounded like incredible wines from Oregon. So look for that in the coming weeks!

As always, Enjoy the Good Life!

Cigar Review: Diamond Crown Robusto #4

Picked this up at Grants today. It’s a 5X54 sized vitola with a dark maduro wrapper from the fine folks at JC Newman.

On the prelight, toasty aromas and typical tobacco drift towards the nose in a pleasing fashion. After cutting the cap I lit the cigar and drew in flavors of cocoa, roasted coffee that wafted across the palate. The flavors were subdued with undertones of creamy milk chocolate. The structure of the flavor profile is solid as is the draw and construction.

This paired well with the inexpensive brandy from the flask. The sweetness and floral notes of the brandy emphasized sweetness on this Dominican cigars from the Arturo Fuente/JC Newman family.

Honestly, I prefer the Maximus, the line they came out with ten years later. The Diamond Crown was released in 1990 to honor the 100th Anniversary of Standford Newman.

From Cigar.com:

Stanford Newman’s dream became a reality when Diamond Crown cigars debuted in the early 1990’s. Today the cigar is as popular as ever. It features a Connecticut wrapper that is absolutely seamless over a smooth Dominican filler. The cigar is mild to medium-bodied, and very creamy and flavorful. Without a doubt, Diamond Crown is one of the best made premium cigars being made in the Dominican Republic

While I prefer the Maximus, for a $17 cigar, this is a good value for thsoe seeking exceptional quality when they are looking to up their standard of The Good Life!

Cigar Review: Cabaiguan Maduro

picked this up for my second cigar at Grants today and thought I’d review it. I know it doesn’t meet the criteria but I’m thinking in my tough economic times, I have to relook at the standards i’ve set. But for now, we’ll just discuss the cigar.

Construction is good. Non veiny , chocolate colored wrapper on this Tatuaje maade cigar from Pete Johnson. Aroma on the prelight is typical of Tatuaje and once I took a draw, I picked up typical full bodied flavor and taste.

After the first third I picked up espresso flavors that rolled into a heady roasted coffee taste with earthy undertones. I should add that I’m sick right now so my palate is a bit off.

Overall a good cigar but I still prefer La Riqueza. I have a Tatuaje Conoju in my humidor for the blog I plan to smoke once I get some good scotch 🙂

It was nice to see Chris at Grants, he poured me a littleof one of his favorite grappas that had an interesting taste if you’re not a grappa drinker OR new to the drink. I’ll share later.

Scotch Review: Bruichladdich 12 year Islay Singlemalt

I was given the opportunity to try this robust Islay scotch Thursday while a good friend was visiting.

The Bruichladdich is a golden colored scotch with not a lot of peat. The heat level is there definitely and will keep you warm but it’s not so overpowering. This is a smooth scotch with light smoke and peat compared to most normal Islay single malts. The balance of body and oaky vanilla sweetness.

A nice finish compliments this 12 year whisky.

From the website: There is no chill filtration, no coloring added and the whiskys are bottled naturally.

Paired this with a CAIN cigar and god company. The CAIN cigar had a much better profile than the last time I smoked one but that’s another review I’ll do for another night.

at 46% ABV this is a little lighter than what I’m used to (Glenfiddich or Grants Blended) but a nice way to wind down the evening or celebrate good company!

Happy New Years fellow Enthusiasts!

I want to wish you all a happy and successful new year and that you may all enjoy the finer things in life! I started off the year working with a bang, cranking out plots and words for three new stories, and had to take a cigar break Tuesday!

First cigar of the year was NOT up to blog standards, but was still a good, tasty stick. I had heard a lot about the Arturo Fuente Double Chateau Fuente by one of the guys who smokes them at Grants so I picked one up.

Definitely a good stick for an occasion when I want something more mild to medium with creamy, woodsy notes.

As for drink, nothing spectacular has hit my palate yet. We’ve gotta work on that!

More soon!