Cecchetti Wine Company
ABV (listed on the bottle as 13.5% but the website says 14.1%)
Purchased: Albany, OR 11-12-2014
Syrah from Monterey – 60%
Merlot from Monterey – 31%
Cabernet Sauvignon from California – 9%
Winemaker: Bob Broman
Cases Produced: 2,671
Suggested Retail: $25.99
I was pretty excited to find this wine on the Albany shelf. It’s 2011 CA (I’m still a fan), two of the components are from Monterey (I usually find interesting tastes from that coastal region) and I have not tried anything from that area in that vintage. Being a cooler, foggier area in most respects, and given the fact that 2011 was a difficult vintage in general, with wines either turning out amazing or tanking (there doesn’t seem to be an in-between), this bottle was very much a wild-card to my way of thinking.
On one hand, the bottle is heavy, the label is parchment-like…and visually it’s meant for the consumer to believe it’s a slightly higher tier wine than its price point indicates. On the other hand, I just read an article on labeling and psychology…how manufacturers will do exactly what we see on this bottle to up-sell a lower quality (but mass-produced) wine.
So where does this fall? (I admit it, I fully expected the latter category but was happily surprised to find this not to be the case.)
Color: Magenta, ruby-red.
Nose: As soon as I opened the bottle, there was a very strong aspirin smell, however, it dissipated as quickly as it appeared. Swirl a few times and you get the fragrance of plums, black cherry, raspberry.
Body: Much lighter than I expected for a 1/3 Merlot blend (think slightly heavier Pinot Noir body style)…very medium-light.
Taste: Fruit forward. Raspberry, boysenberry. Alcohol is so non-intrusive and yet balances out the fruit; hints of vanilla bean find their way to the surface upon opening. At first, there’s not so much in the way of pepper, spice or savory that I expected in a Syrah blend, but it is a tasty (for fruit forward) wine. As it opened up (about 20 min or so in the glass) black cherry and pomegranate moved more to the fore; pepper/spice notes also starting to develop as well. About an hour or so in the class brought forth a bit of savory (bacon). I think it is possible that the wine would progress even further on day 2…it does seem to have potential to evolve.
While it is fruit forward (and I wouldn’t call it dry), it doesn’t have that cloyingly sweet, high sugar taste that sets me on edge. It’s not “in your face” fruit either. I think part of that is the lighter style body, it lends itself to the blend without making the taste obtrusive. True it’s not as layered as I’d like, however, even at the non-sale price of $4.99 this is a decent buy IMO. I think it would pair well with food (pork, mushrooms, cheeses etc) but stands up nicely on its own. This was apparently available in some Oregon stores during the sale, and TBH, one of the better wines I’ve tasted from the sale event; as long as you keep in mind that it is fruit forward (yet not at all a sugary, sweet fruit bomb).
As far as I am aware, it is still available at the Albany store at the $4.99 price.
Update: Day two…it really has opened up. Mouthfeel is a lot more full. Still fruit forward but more balanced (though I prefer it with food on day two instead of on it’s own). Glad I have another bottle.