Apples, fig, and a touch of toast show on the nose. On the palate, pears and figs lead on the attack. Moderate oak use (36% new French) adds depth and a deft touch of vanilla without overpowering fruit. Apples join on the mid-palate. There is a lingering smoke over apple and pear on the finish. This is a nice bottle of wine, avoiding overpowering oak, but adding enough to provide softness and depth. Drink with roast chicken. Recommended. DH
The color is inky dark with maroon edges. The nose is lightly jammy blackcurrant with a background of vanilla and eucalyptus. The palate is more harsh than the nose. Blackcurrant leads, along with some vegetal tobacco leaf as well a higher tones of mint and eucalyptus. It does not show a lot of development from attack through mid-palate to finish, ending with some brown sugar and vanilla from wood. At this price point it is very competitive with California cabernets, showing a more deft hand with wood flavors than is usually seen in the under-$15 crowd, as well as some acid to keep it food-friendly. Drink with a skirt steak. For the price, Recommended. DH
The media has, in general, done a poor job of reporting on studies regarding alcohol intake during pregnancy. When the media over-interprets some studies it sends an unwarranted message that "drinking during pregnancy might be beneficial." When the media over-interprets other studies it sends an unwarranted bit of hyperbole - some might say fear-mongering - that can lead pregnant women to consider abortion. More research can only help our understanding. No amount of research is likely to ever discover a "safe threshold", and therefore women looking for a green light to drink during pregnancy will not - and should not - receive one from the medical community.