OkieWineGirl

A Wine Drinker Rambling about Wine

Category: Rumble Wednesday Wine

Our Saturday Sips: Wheelhouse Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

If the weekend is here that means there will be wine. And I plan on making it a good one! (Hopefully) Now let’s pour. 

 

Picking the wine fell to me this past weekend because my husband was out of town till Sunday afternoon. He came home to the privilege of opening the bottle and burying our beloved guinea pig.  Thankfully Rumble passed away Sunday while we were at church and not earlier in the week while my husband was gone. My husband manages these life events better than me. Fat hairy spiders? No problem. Dead pet? I get squeamish. In the end, our middle daughter, the reason we adopted Rumble 7 years ago, and my hubby held a sweet memorial service and buried him in the back garden. RIP Rumble. I’ll miss your loud whooping while I grind the coffee in the morning but not your droppings under the Lazyboy.  If interested, you can read about his brief career as a wine critic here

Anyway, for some reason, I had a hard time choosing the wine for the weekend. Here’s my predicament: We have a rule of one bottle a week and only on the weekend so I want a great bottle. Absolutely unrealistic, I know, but I’ve only got one chance. This dilemma is easily solvable by picking an old reliable. Except, I love to try new wines and I’ve been thinking lately I should test my wine knowledge and not ask the clerk every time for a suggestion. Why gather all this wine experience if I’m not going to use it? But that raises the odds of picking a dud and being disappointed. Oh, my first world problems!

In the end, I decided to just go for it and picked a Napa Valley Cabernet by a producer I’ve never tried since Napa is known for producing lovely Cabs. What’s Ms. Frizzle always say? “Be brave. Take chances. Make mistakes.” Besides, I can comfort myself in picking an old reliable next weekend, right?

Our Saturday Sip: 

 

Wheelhouse Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Napa Valley

Overall, Wheelhouse is nice although slightly boring. It turned out to be a pleasant pour while we caught up on the week. If you’re looking for safe, nothing super exciting but drinkable then it’s a decent pick up. Although, in a blind tasting it’s not particularly obvious it’s a Cabernet Sauvignon with it’s lighter body and shy dark fruit. I probably won’t buy it again because I like Bold Cabernet. Also it’s a bit pricey at $17 for moderately boring. My guess is because of it’s location – Napa Valley.  Oh well. Still it wasn’t a dud! 

Happy Sipping, 

Allison

 

Thank you LORD for the fun piggy. Adieu, dear boy.

 

 

Rumble’s Wine Wednesday View

 

Rumble lives in the kitchen and is privy to all the bottle openings. He loves to sing, hide under the living room lazy-boy and eat fried chicken. And now his latest hobby is keeping track of the eclectic wines we open each week. There’s no scientific or technical reporting for each bottle. Each one is on the Rumble system: 1-5 Grapes. Enjoy! 

 

Imagine for a moment next Wednesday. It’s the eve of one of my favorite holidays. There’s hustle and bustle and cooking and cleaning and polishing and last minute trips to the grocer and family arriving and . . . .You get it.  Completely consumed with activity. So before I share a few of the  bottles  we’ve had the pleasure of sipping, I wanted to pause and remember what I have to be grateful for in the past year.  Just a little exercise in preparing my heart for doing more on Thanksgiving than stuffing pie in my face while trying to beat my daughter at Settlers of Catan. (Our second sweet girl is ruthless, cunning and liable to snipe ya. Man, I love that kid!)

Of course there’s the generic  offerings in case one’s put on the spot while toasting around the dining table: Family, friends, health. But in order to really get to the heart here are a few I’m particularly grateful about:

  • The Lord’s grace and mercy  on our lives everyday
  • Celebrating 20 rich and rewarding years of marriage to my best friend
  • 4 teenagers who make me laugh, think, and Pray a lot.
  • My mom’s cancer-free diagnosis & the reminder that  loved ones shouldn’t be taken for granted
  • Taking  the guided tour and tasting  at Frog’s Leap Winery  with my sweet husband for our anniversary & the wine!
  • The fellowship and love of our new church community group
  • Riding OutLaw Run 4X with my youngest daughter at Silver Dollar City and not tossing my pork rinds
  • Not hyperventilating as I watched as our oldest take and pass her driver’s test

And now, to what’s been poured.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon  Columbia Valley 2013

Confession. Practically any bottle I open from this lovely winery located within a stone’s throw of my bubba’s house is wonderful to me. Unrepentant in my bias opinion, the Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is even better than this one.

Dark fruit, black cherry, smooth tannins, chocolate notes, mint and herbs. $18. Rumble gives it 5 grapes, cause he’s bias too.

Votre Sante Pinot Noir 2013

Francis Ford Coppola romanticizes the vineyard in this well-structured, strawberry, cherries, balanced spicy Pinot. Lovely garnet color. $15. This was a pleasant tipple but the afternoon was so mild, we just sat in the garden chatting, sipping and reading. Lots of tasting went on but not a lot of note taking. Rumble gives it 3 grapes for having no lasting impression except a pleasant afternoon.

 Betsy’s Backacher Red, California Lot 11 

It comes from Spann Vineyards. Grown on a mountainside. Our local wine shop recommended this interesting blend.  Apparently it was  only given as gifts to family and friends by the winemakers but as the story goes acquaintances began begging for it, too. It had a little sweetness, dried cherries, raspberry, nice acidity, medium tannin and  touch of mint. Nice table wine. $17. If you find a bottle, I’d love to know what you think. I think it goes well with pizza and a late night movie like “You’ve Got Mail”.  Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are always a comfortable, easy-going pair with delightful comedic charm, kinda like this wine. Except  ‘comedic’ strictly applies to the actors not the wine.  That would be weird. Comedic wine.  Huh, wonder what comedy tastes like? Oh well. Rumble? 3.5 grapes.

Cheers!

 

Rumble’s Wine Wednesday View

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Rumble lives in the kitchen and is privy to all the bottle openings. He loves to sing, hide under the living room lazy-boy and eat fried chicken. And now his latest hobby is keeping track of the eclectic wines we open each week. There’s no scientific or technical reporting for each bottle. Each one is on the Rumble system: 1-5 Grapes. Enjoy! 

 

Wednesday is here again! Except it’s now November and Thanksgiving looms like a pilgrim ship on the horizon. Opening a bottle of wine is paramount in sorting out all the Thanksgiving logistics involving family, menus, locations, and which board games and holiday movies to take along to the gathering. Our family loves to bring the newest game we’ve been playing and this year it’s a gamble with Wits and Wagers.  So, with all the holiday planning to get done, it’s a sure bet this wine lover and her congenial husband have opened a few bottles since the last time it was the middle day in the week.

 

Bogle Zinfandel

Bogle Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel

Bogle Vineyards Old Vine Zinfangel 2013 California

The evening was finally one of those cool, rainy affairs. This $12 Zin had the aroma of a smokey seasoned cigar which I think always smells heavenly in the autumn air. The first taste reminded me of a fire pit on a fall night with spicy cherry, smokey oak and tannin. Unfortunately, the flame was doused too quickly by a flabby finish. Rumble gave it 2 grapes.

 

Sean Minor Cabernet

Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon

Sean Minor 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Usually any Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley has my attention or at least gives a fair showing. Sean Minor didn’t exactly bring it. The wine itself tasted more like watered down cherry juice with no tannin and a missing finish. At $22 a bottle, I expected more than uninspired and boring. Oh well. Rumble gave it 1/2 grape for the cherry.

Casillero del Diablo

Casillero del Diablo 2013 Chile

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Chile

Bedeviled as to what to pick up for our Friday night delight, I turned to this wine suggestion from wineblogger Michelle Williams at ROCKIN RED BLOG. Chilean wines are favorites in our abode and we’ve now added a Diablo to the list. The aroma was cranberry and tobacco with a slightly sweet spicy dark fruit taste. Smooth plum, lovely solid structure and medium tannin. Thankful for the $11 bottle, we forged ahead with holiday planning. Rumble gave it 4 grapes.

Now I’m off to write a list to remind me of everyone I have to be thankful for because this planning is making me grumpy.  Cheers!

 

Rumble’s Wine Wednesday View

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Rumble lives in the kitchen and is privy to all the bottle openings. He loves to sing, hide under the living room lazy-boy and eat fried chicken. And now his latest hobby is keeping track of the eclectic wines we open each week. There’s no scientific or technical reporting for each bottle. Each one is on the Rumble system: 1-5 Grapes. Enjoy! 

 

October. The month that connects late summer and the festive holiday season. It has always been and will forever be my favorite. The Lord truly blessed us with a beautiful way to transition from hot summers to cold winters. I love fall  because of it’s vibrant colors, sweatshirt weather, college football, fall foods, and deep blue Oklahoma afternoon skies. However, this one has been flashing by faster than the leaves can go from green to red to brown but we’ve still found time to open a few wines.

 

As in tree stump?

Paying Homage to the aussie invention: the Stump Jump Plough

 

The Stump Jump  Red 2011 McLaren Vale

  • 46% Grenache, 39% Shiraz, 15% Mourvedre
  • Grapes are mostly old bush vines
  • Produced by the Osborn family at d’Arenburg
  • Affordable  $11 with 14.6% alcohol
  • Label contains an eye chart to check your wine eyesight

Definitely need my wine eyes checked more often. Life has been so incredibly busy for October that I honestly forgot to take any decent notes. The Stump Jump was opened at the end of a day spent cramming too many activities into too few hours.  We ploughed through this red with gusto. The winemaker might argue with me on my lack of descriptors but I do remember raspberry and the impression of a spicy long finish. Rhubarb and white pepper where unearthed while herbs sprung up with chalky tannin.  It was ok and it brought a calming  end to the crazy day. Well done on the invention too! Rumble gave it 3 grapes.

 

Lovely french blanc

Lovely french blanc

Cote Mas Blanc Mediterranee 2014

  • 35% Grenache Blanc, 25% Vermentino, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Sauvignon Blanc
  • Fourth-generation vintner Jean-Claude Mas
  • 13% alcohol
  • Grapes vinified separately and fermented in stainless steel tanks for 3 weeks

The first few weeks of the month were lived  in an Indian Summer of warmer temperatures and sunshine so the Cote Mas Blanc was perfect for pretending summer was still around.  This blanc was an easygoing blend of citrus, grapefruit with hints of tropical fruit and really balanced acidity. It had weight for a summer wine drunk in the middle of Autumn. Beauty in and out of the bottle. Rumble gave it 4.5 grapes.

May your October wine Wednesday be blessed with an a vibrant, colorful bottle! Cheers.

 

Rumble’s Wine Wednesday View

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Rumble the Guinea Pig Somm

Rumble lives in the kitchen and is privy to all the bottle openings. He loves to sing, hide under the living room lazy-boy and eat fried chicken. And now his latest hobby is keeping track of the eclectic wines we open each week. There’s no scientific or technical reporting for each bottle. Each one is on the Rumble system: 1-5 Grapes. Enjoy! 

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Pannonica Red Blend 2013

This is an Austrian Cuvee made from 40% Blaufrankisch (try and say that five times!) and 35% Zweigeit (bless you! Kleenex?) and 25% Pinot Noir.  It’s blackberries and spice and soft tannins. It sings a soft Austrian song.  For $10 it’s worth a try. Rumble gave it 3 grapes because it was more like the echo of a song than a true song.

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Trapiche Oak Cast Malbec 2013

Berry filled and spicy and a true Malbec. It comes from Mendoza, Argentina. Strong and lovely plum, black cherry and pepper with a chewy finish. Another affordable quaff: $11.  Rumble gave it 4.5 grapes for a wine worthy of his homeland.

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Napa Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Light, very light, pear, pineapple and a hint of melon. Almost watery.  For the price, $13.99, sadly a Napa Valley let-down. As a Sauvignon Blanc it lacked the traditional characteristic crispness. There were no classic limes, clovers, or passion fruits. Perhaps, this is what the Apostle Paul meant when he told Timothy to mix a little wine with his water.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Rumble gave it 2 grapes.

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Chateau Julien Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Central Coast California. Chateau Julien brings back the nostalgic Cabernet fruit bombs of the 1990s. Heady, rich and thickly flavored with berries and soft tannins. This needs a meaty dish of beef to pair back the sweet. Overall, a nice pick for $11.  It’s da-bomb, baby! Rumble? 3 grapes.

 So get out there and try something new! And happy Wine Wednesday.

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