Monterey County grows over 50 different varietals of grapes and yet it seems that most of them go unnoticed or at least uncelebrated as premium wines. While a number of people tend to think of Monterey wine tasting as one long procession of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and while that is a large portion of what is made and poured, it is far from all that can be savoured.
Now while we do really enjoy the wonderful Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that is made and poured in Monterey we also like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Sangiovese and Malbec as well as many other wines.With this being Cabernet month ( #Cabernet day is August 28th) we turned our attention to Monterey Cabernet and dinner time.
When thinking of Cabernet most peoples thoughts go immediately to Napa Valley or Paso Robles, but you may be surprised to find some equally good reasonably priced Cabernet and Cabernet blends right in Monterey County.
With Cabernet Day just around the corner we at WineWalkabout decided that we would sample (read drink) some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon poured in the local tasting rooms and let you know about what we chose to drink with our meals and that most importantly we really liked.
Food; Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue sauce / A-1 basted oven roasted chicken drumsticks
Wine; Heller Estate Organic Vineyards 2012 Cachagua Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is made from 100% certified vineyards from the Cachagua region of the Carmel Valley and is comprised of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot aged in 100% neutral French oak barrels. No fining but polished filtered through 3µ filters.
The winemaker says that the 2012 growing season was marked by a relatively cool summer, as summers go in the Cachagua Valley. But the season was long with no early rains which allowed them to keep the grapes on the vine as long as they wanted. The resulting color is a deep garnet to dark cherry color with a fruit forward nose with big notes of blackberry, raspberry and a little cedar. On the palate it is bright with nice dark and some red fruit flavors that fill the mouth. The flavors of black cherry and blackberry and a little . Also look for some subtle jammy characters to show through on the mid-palate. A little sharp at first, once swirled a bit the supple and balanced tannins linger on the finish. This *** wine rates a 7 on the official scale and we would drink this for dinner a bunch. A little (12mths) time will really make this a go to organic grape wine.
The wine paired well with the BBQ, A-1 sauced oven baked chicken drumsticks but would go well with steaks and good burgers or some red sauced Italian.
Head on out to Carmel Valley and have a taste of the Heller Estate Organic Vineyards range of wines and find your new favorite tipple. Tell em we sent you.
Kiwi & Koala