Brief update: I’ve got about 3 more bottles of GO wine, and then I’ll be out…and quite honestly, if the quality doesn’t improve in the selections we are seeing around here, those sadly may be my last three reviews (unless something outstanding comes along to interrupt the dearth).
Does this set the tone for the Vintage Ranch Cabernet? Because it should. It’s listed at $18.99 SRP and I’m glad I didn’t pay that for it. Just today I just bought 6 bottles of a nice 2012 Toscana Rosso (that we very much enjoy) from Costco @ $10 a bottle. So when I’m spending $6-$13/a bottle at GO and my percentage of off/bad wines is running about 80% (pick one: corked, an overabundance of brett or an overabundance of the sulfides attempting to counteract the brett, or just plain poorly done wine) even a non-economics major can see the flaw in my retail logic. [And yes, because I know someone will mention it, I could take them all back, but when you realize how many bottles I’d have to take back (just based on the wines purchased for reviews since the wine sale, it’d be more than a case) for me, that’s just a hassle that I don’t want to deal with on a regular basis. I also realize that is a personal choice I’ve made, and that GO does have a very good return policy if you don’t like the wine or if it’s off etc.]
So, I apologize for starting out with an editorial…but really, I think it’s a valid concern for any consumer (not just me) wanting to find the best ways to spend their hard-earned $. That’s what these reviews really are all about. There have been some lovely highlights at GO but the percentages (at least, locally) of anything of quality, have been very low of late (the outstanding Le Riche and Emigre excepting). Lim13 & BW have said to me several times that the wine tasting/reviews are supposed to be enjoyable, and they are so right.
Unfortunately, that’s again not the case with this wine. I expected it to be not really ready, being 2013 vintage…but usually you can get an idea of the quality of the wine, nonetheless, even if it is young. And with its SRP right at $19, I expected a moderate, if not exceptional Cabernet.
I knew from first pour that this one wasn’t going to make the cut. It’s listed as California Cabernet Sauvignon so it has to be (IIRC) at least 75% Cabernet. Until now, I have NEVER poured a Cabernet that I could clearly see through, like some of the lightest Pinot Noir. Not even that Side by Side Bravery Blend (whose body was also light but the taste was ok). I can read through this one. Strike one.
Nose: Rhubarb & cherry, mainly. (Rhubarb is not what I’d consider an acceptable Cabernet taste or fragrance. Strike two.)
Taste: Unripe black cherry, again with the rhubarb and a little bit of plum. However it’s the Glycerin that gets me. It’s almost like they tried to make up for unsubstantial Cabernet by adding some sort of odd thickener. Strike three.
This one would be returned as unsatisfactory on all counts.