Black Opal Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

What a great name for a winery from Australia – Black Opal.  It conjures so much with so few words.  Thus, attempting to follow their lead ….

Winemaker:  Black Opal
Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage:  2012
Appellation:  South Eastern Australia
Price:  $8.99

Notes:   In the glass this Australian Cab was a deep garnet – leaning a bit toward the browner shade in the garnet spectrum.  The bouquet brought me pine cleaner, unctuous cherry, and earth.  Acidity was good, the body was medium, and I felt the tannins were on the heavier side of light.  Alcohol was at 13.5%.  On the tongue I tasted copious wood, baked cherry, bitters, sour dill and what I can only describe as a hint of biscuit.  Seriously, it was a flavor not dissimilar to the spoon drop biscuits my grandmother used to make.  As a result, the lingering finish was very reminiscent of cherry pie.  I swear I’m not making this up!  Although I would have preferred a bit more from the tannins since it is a Cabernet Sauvignon, I have to say I enjoyed drinking this inexpensive offering from Black Opal.  Is that because of my grandmother’s biscuits?  Well … maybe.  But I also happen to like cherry pie!

Fetzer Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Clearly, I’m on a red trend of late.  Can’t help it.  It’s been chilly and snowy, and there’s nothing like a nice glass of red wine to warm my bones.  Well, if I had a fireplace, that might edge out the wine.  Of course, a nice glass of red wine in front of a roaring fire … now that would be awesome.  Alas, I don’t have a fireplace, so I’ll just have to make do with a glass or two of this.

Winemaker:  Fetzer
Wine:  Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon
Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage:  2010
Appellation:  California
Price:  $7.99

Notes:  The color of this Fetzer Cab was a pretty dark ruby.  On the nose I caught whiffs of oak, soil, and dark currant.  Body was medium, acidity was good, and alcohol was at 13.5%.  Tannins were on the lighter side of medium.  Flavors I tasted included black currant, spearmint, and a slight hint of olive.  A nice cherry developed with some oxidation.  It also had a satisfyingly present tannic bite for a Cabernet Sauvignon in this price range.  Rightly or wrongly, I have personally never been a big Fetzer fan.  So I was pleasantly surprised.  Oh, it isn’t one of those big, bold, collectable Cabs that get 90+ scores from all the experts.  Nope, not even close.  For the money, though, it really was pretty decent.

Jacobs Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

2010One of Australia’s most popular vintners, Jacob’s Creek Winery traces it’s roots back over 160 years to a young Bavarian immigrant who is credited with planting the first commercial vineyards in the Barossa Valley.  Today Jacob’s Creek Winery is owned by Orlando Wines which is, in turn, owned by a company called Premium Wine Brands which is owned by Pernod Ricard.  Pernod Ricard is a global conglomerate which has in it’s portfolio such well-known adult beverage brands as Absolut vodka, Seagrams gin, Jameson’s Irish whiskey, Perrier-Jouët Champagne, Kahlúa coffee liqueur, and Glenlivet scotch.   Oh my!  That’s quite a group of siblings!  So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Jacob’s Creek wines are exported to over 60 countries worldwide.

Winemaker:  Jacob’s Creek
Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage:  2010
Appellation:  South Eastern Australia
Price:  $9.49

Notes:   This Australian red was a dark ruby in the glass.   It had an interesting bouquet – cherry and vanilla with whiffs of dirty sock.  It was light-bodied to me, especially for a Cabernet Sauvignon.  On the tongue I tasted plenty of cherry, some plum, and a light sprinkling of pepper along with some tar and tobacco notes.  There wasn’t much in the way of tannins except a touch of eucalyptus near the finish.  Acidity is high, and alcohol is at 13.5%.

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.