Tag Archives: Sascha Illyvich

Wine Review: Noble Vines 181 2012 Merlot

Lodi California
$11.00181 Noble

Color: Deep Red
Nose: Classical merlot nose of spice and berry.
Taste: Immediate earthiness from chalky soil. Intense tart cherry followed by subtle spices and soft tannins.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this went well with braised lambs, hard cheeses or certain Italian sausages.  Overall, it’d a good starter merlot because the tannins don’t punch your palate to hell!

Medium finish. Paired with a Liga Undercrown Toro by Drew Estate for a soft, cigar/wine combination.  In fact, the the sweetness of the Undercrown paired beautifully with the softness, cutting through some of the tannin structure of the merlot.  This was a wine made for drinking with deep, well made maduros.

Oxidation opens the wine slightly.

Cigar Review – Casa Magna Colorado

When it comes to a robust cigar, I used to think of stuff that was too strong initially.  JdN, LfD, etc.  The problem I had as a beginning cigar smoker was the nicotine kick overpowered the flavors and I often got light headed.

casa-magna-colorado

Not so with this release from Manuel Quesada.  Casa Magna Colorado features a Cuban Ligero seed Colorado wrapper, Viso and Ligero fillers from Nicaragua, this cigar starts off with plenty of balanced spices.

The packaging is elegant, yet simple at the same time.  The large band is striking and lets you know you’re smoking something with heft.

A good bit through the cigar is a plethora of earthy notes combined with the spice.  The smoke to me smells rugged, in a really good way.  As in, no one will mistake this cigar for something else, because it’s just that good.

Even better, the cigar burns really slow.  The draw is excellent.   This is one to be a permanent staple in any respectable cigar smoker’s rotation.

Cigar Review: Don Cervantes Tres Maduro


The Don Cervantes Tres Maduro is a true triple maduro cigar, is a complex cigar with rich notes of earth and cocoa. I sense a theme with Max’s sticks 😉 It starts off with a fresh, clean taste and plenty of smoke though the draw is a little tight. Chocolate brown maduro wrapper has been fermented properly to give the cigar more depth.

The second third melds those clean flavors with more pronounced earth and a very faint amount of spice. The final third ends with mellow notes. A tight white ash so well constructed the cigar could stand on it is impressive since rarely a cigar is out that’s so well made.

Look for them here in California soon!
Don Cervantes

Max Myers of ACC

Wine Review: Saddler’s Peak 2007 Napa Valley Red Wine

This wine was a delightful mouthful of red tannin and fruit with plenty of structure, a nice balance and fruit that’s not overly aggressive like many California varietals tend to be. Paired well with pepper steak, this wine drinks with a medium body and a long finish.

We’ve been drinking on the cheap lately due to funds but this wine retailed for close to $20 and was picked up at Grocery Outlet in Oakland for no more than $5.99 a bottle. It’s a real steal considering that it’s still good and going strong. It probably will hold up for another two to three years if aged right and mellow a tad. As to the blend I’m not sure but I’d gather there was Merlot and cab sauvignon in the blend at least. Firm tannins always say Merlot to me 🙂