I keep thinking I should post more wine reviews, considering how much we drink. So I’ll try to get better. This wine was an education for us in many ways. First off, it was our first Claret (but definitely not our last). Second, it was an education in sediment.
A to Z Winery, Oregon
$18.00, local wine store
When I first unscrewed the cap, there was a strong and pleasant scent of dark chocolate and cherries. Yum. Later, after the wine had been open for a couple of hours, we also detected a peppery scent overtaking the chocolate.
The color was pure garnet and was the only thing about this wine that didn’t change over time.
When I first tasted the wine, it was
before dinner. I tasted a lot of cherry and chocolate, and was
pleasantly surprised. I popped a Ghiradelli raspberry chocolate square
into my mouth (another yum!) and the wine only got better. For dinner, we ended up having a citrus
pork dish, and the wine did not work with the meal at all. We switched to
water. By the time we got back to the wine, the chocolate had receded
and we were tasting a lot of pepper. I’m generally turned off by
peppery wines, unlike Kevin, but this was softer and I didn’t really
mind it. By the second night (after properly storing the bottle), we
were back to chocolate, but softer, and a little less on the cherry,
with very small amounts of pepper.
This wine has a big taste, especially on night 1. It almost barrels through your mouth. That doesn’t sound overly pleasant, but it really is. For some reason, I expected Claret to be a quiet wine, and I think this wine really had something to say.
Interestingly, at the end of the bottle, in our glasses, was a large
amount of sediment. We’d never encountered such a large amount of
sediment before and I had to do a little research to reassure myself
that it was all okay. I can only assume this was an unfiltered wine.
Next time, we’ll decant first. I have a lovely decanter gathering dust. Maybe we should start using it.
Overall, we really enjoyed the Claret. It was our first Claret and
definitely an interesting introduction. This is the second wine we’ve had from this winery (the first, a Pinot Grigio, won a wine tasting for us) and we’ve definitely had good experiences. I’ll pick up this wine again
soon, or at least as soon as we plow through some more of the
overwhelming stacks of Reds we have sitting around. On our own
scale of 1-10, we give this an 8.5. Maybe even a 9 for the extra
In case you’re wondering more about sediment and why it shouldn’t scare you, here are some sites that I learned from tonite:
Fine Living/Practical Living: Essentials
The Wine Doctor: Decanting Wine
Wine Country This Week: Wine-ology
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