I was surprised when I noticed that the Maumee Wines website recently listed a Cabernet tasting. An area wine insider had told me that Maumee Wines had closed. In the process of preparing the weekly wine tasting calendar, I checked the Maumee Wines website anyhow – and sure enough, they had a big, beautiful Cabernet tasting scheduled.
Although the bistro wine bar, which we really enjoyed, has closed. The retail wine shop remains open. And they continue to host monthly wine tastings.
It was Friday after a long work week, so Green Dragon and I met the Cabinator at Maumee wines and prepared to “wine down.” The tasting featured six Cabernets (or blends) with appetizers for $25.
The first Cab was Montes 2011 Classic Series Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile. This wine goes for $11.99 This is a super value. Comes out a bit edgy but then smoothes deliciously. Good fruit.
Next we delved into the Hedges 2011 CMS, a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah from Washington State’s Columbia Valley. This has nice loose tannins and is highly drinkable (especially on Friday night!) but left me unimpressed. Not enough structure to make it interesting. Goes for $13.99.
Another Columbia Valley wine was next, the 2011 Chateau St. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon. Chateau St. Michelle has always been a leader in QPR (quality price ratio) and this didn’t disappoint. It has rich cherry flavors and is a nice “pop and pour” wine. It was a favorite of Green Dragon who rated it twice as good as several of the other wines. Cost is a modest $19.99.
We finally entered the Cab country of California with the Eberle 2009 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a beauty of a wine. It is a mulberry color with loads of complexity. Tannins enhance the great flavors. It’s a wine that will pair wonderfully with meat dishes.
The Cabinator crowned the Eberle as his favorite of the evening. The cost is only $19.99, so you can live large while not putting a hurt on the wallet. I must agree that for the price, it is a great deal – but to see what bottle I bought, you’ll have to read on.
I have always enjoyed wines from Blue Rock winery – their Cabernet is outstanding and their Baby Blue is an incredible smooth sipper. We’ve enjoyed it on several occasions. Tonight we tried the new vintage, the Blue Rock 2012 Baby Blue from Napa.
We discussed whether this was actually too young, being just a 2012 vintage. For me the first sip dispelled that notion. A blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 18% Cab Franc, 6% Malbec and 5% Petite Verdot, I consider it a party in a bottle. The emphasis is on silky texture and red fruit flavors. Cab curmudgeons might say there’s too much Merlot – bit this hits all the right notes for me. At $29.99 it’s at a great price point too. Yes, I purchased this one.
Every fireworks show has a grand finale. For us it was the Burgess 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Burgess is one a long-time Napa winery and the flavor profile is what has made Napa famous for decades. It is a great food wine with firm tannins and refined cherry flavors. Burgess is a smooth wine that can compete with wines twice its price. It tips the scales at $34.99, not bad for a big time Napa Cab!
The evening was enjoyable for several reasons: we tried some great wine, met new friends and discovered that Maumee wines is alive and kicking. Keep your eyes open for their tastings on the third Fridays of the month.