For this post I just wanted to throw out some tasting notes for a couple of blends that I recently tried. Below are some Cab. Sauv./ Merlot blends that I picked up at the Winerack a few weeks ago. The reason why I've waited so long to post anything is because I didn't think they were worth mentioning. I have now decided to write in regard to them as a warning for anyone looking from a Winerack location. In my experience I have not found a lot of wineries that mix their grapes from two very different parts of the world. On their own, Canadian, Chilean, and South African grapes are quite good but in these cases were a disaster. Here are the descriptions of what the wineries so deceitfully tell us to expect. Firstly, we have the Canadian/ Chilean mix and secondly, the Canadian/ South African mix.
Caleta Vineyards – Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot ($9.95):
Aromas of ripe cherry and blackcurrant with a hint of cocoa, enhanced by roasted vanilla notes. On the palate, our intense full body provides the perfect balance between fruit and tannins.
Cape One – Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot ($10.95):
Medium bodied wine with soft tannins and ripe fruit flavours followed by a long velvety finish.
In regards to the structure of the wines, whoever wrote the label was spot on, but when it comes to the palate, I was lost. For both, there was a prominent cherry flavour, as is common with the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varietals but nothing else seemed to come through. I was so hoping for the hint of cocoa and vanilla of the Caleta and the finish on the Cape One was short-lived.
Now, the nose is a whole other story. The Caleta was by no means magnificent but after some swirling and allowed time to breath it was alright. The Cape one on the other hand seemed to worsen the longer it breathed. At first I didn't notice it, but once it's pointed out to you there is no going back. Cape One has a distinct smell of tunafish!!! It is the most repugnant smelling wine I have ever had. Although I like to act the connoisseur, I'm not so snobbish that I won't finish a bottle. In fact I finished it faster so that I wouldn't have to smell it or see it ever again.
From this experience I learned that mixing grapes from different continents, although it sounds like an interesting idea, is a disaster waiting to happen. They are grown apart because they belong apart!