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Cliffside Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Recommendation: A unique red wine that was quite drinkable.

Winery/Producer: Cliffside Cellars; St. Helena, California

Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon.

Geographic Region, Appellation: Central Coast, California.

Vintage: 2011

Price: Unknown

Purchased From: Received as a gift in a wine and cheese basket.

Paired With: French bread and ratatouille.

Tasting:

    He said: Opened 24-hours before drinking. Clear, VERY dark garnet color with a light rim. Strong burned vegetative aromas. Intense pepper taste and a medium-long finish that carries the peppery flavors all the way to the end. Smooth mouth-feel that’s somewhat dry and only slightly fruity. But, it is one of the most unusual bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve ever had. If I had to describe it in a word or two I would say “burnt pepper”. Would I buy it again? Probably not but it’s so different from any Cabernet…if it was in the $10-12 price range I might give it another try. Overall it was a unique red wine that was quite drinkable. It was probably the strongest and most distinct peppery aroma and taste I’ve ever had in a wine.

    She said: This is one of those wines that I would never have bought had I first met it at a wine tasting where you get a small sip. Too bad. Fortunately, I was given a bottle and could discover its virtues over time. My first tastes were with dinner and the food totally overwhelmed the aroma and flavors. After dinner a whole different wine revealed itself; spicey, pepper aroma and flavor. A tad of harshness was present at first but slowly disappeared and was not present when I had the wine 24 hours after opening it. The lesson here is to open the bottle ahead and/or decant. The body was light but the tannins were pleasant and lasted into the long finish along with the peppery flavor. I enjoyed sipping the wine but the peppery flavor, its best feature, was not discernable with food. Its fault was the light body but I would buy it again (if the price was low) for the pepperiness which made it a rather unique Cabernet.

    Comments: This was the second of two wines we received in a gift basket. The first was a Merlot that we didn’t like and we were saving the second for cooking. On the spur-of-the-moment we pulled the second bottle out to have with some ratatouille…and, it turned out better than we expected.

Alcohol: 13.7%

Bar code: 0 98009 42966 3

Imported by: NA