Selections for October 2017

Should we give it a 92?

2013 INKBERRY CABERNET SAUVIGNON – New South Wales, Australia

It’s dark.  It’s focused.  It’s a great value at 11.99 and meant to cost more.  If I have to spend any more time describing it I’ll have to raise my price. . . Or I can slightly elaborate with someone else’s material:

A veteran wineguy named Wilfred Wong used to work for Beverages & More where he had the audacity to rate his own selections on the little promotional signs you’d see throughout the store.  His 90+ ratings were everywhere and, naturally, nothing rated lower.  Cleverness or shyster-ism?  NOW Wilfred works for, bringing along his scoring system to the new gig.  My sense of “outrage” over this has been somewhat soothed by rubbing elbows with the man himself at many recent trade tastings.  It turns out that Wilfred is quite a nice guy, coasting toward the end of a career.  – And I must admit to myself:  WE do exactly what he does, promoting our own wines with a lot of creative language.  The only difference:  That silly rating system.  Silly or smart?  You decide.

Let’s respect a fellow wine industry veteran by quoting him here.  Wilfred Wong awards this 2013 Inkberry Cabernet 92 points and remarks:

“If balance is the key to life, the 2013 Inkberry Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is just what the dining room director ordered. Not too big nor too light, this one is so juicy and delicious that all of your taste buds will wake up and sing. Medium ruby color; pretty red and fruit aromas, playing closer to red currants, fine depth; medium bodied, soft tannins and gentle on the palate, quite juicy; plenty of rich, ripe fruit; smooth and layered in the aftertaste. (Tasted: September 30, 2015, San Francisco, CA)”

Internet Powerhouse (Wilfred’s employer) asks 13.99 for this.  Let’s do better for you.


Small Large Production

2015 SHENANDOAH VINEYARDS “Special Reserve” ZINFANDEL – Amador County

I have three reasons for liking this wine.

#1 Tom Quinn

Tom is a Sobon / Shenandoah family member and our rep for this Zinfandel - and several other Amador wines and such from the same Sierra Foothills producer.  He’s a little bigger than life but never obtrusively.  It’s just a sales thing;  I appreciate Tom’s patient persistence and acceptance that we’re not always going to buy what he’s showing us.  He sells loudly but correctly, and this time around he scored by offering us a deal on this beauty.  I’m glad to finally give Tom some wine club love.

#2Amador County

My Mom’s parents came to Sutter Creek in the late 1930’s.  Grandpa built the house.  Then another behind it.  – And then another behind that one.  I’ve been going there all my life for Christmas, Summer Vacation, and – now that Grandma’s gone and the house had to sell – only for occasional wine tasting.  That part of the Gold Country goes deep for Yours Truly.

#3This Wine

Zinfandel which says it all yet not too much is a rare beverage.  There is plenty of fruit and Zin-style pepper to love, but the wine remains restrained and contained with an admirable amount of crisp dryness.  Amador Zins are rarely well-behaved, but this affordable one stays on a leash!