Tag: cabernet sauvignon

Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon

errazurizAnother bargain at Waitrose. From the Errazuriz Estate in Chile comes a 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, reduced to 4.99. This bargain of an intense and full bodied wine with soft vanilla and fresh blackcurrant fruit character cannot be missed.

I stocked up a few bottles to make sure that I have a supply for a while. We are not sure if this is the wine we used to have at our most favourite Thai restaurant, but it is a great wine. Nothing extraordinary but a lovely, well tasting CabSav.

The bottle reads: Don Maxiano Erraruriz founded Vina Erruriz in 1870. Today his descendants strive to build on his legacy, locating ideal vineyard sites, planting new varieties and realising techniques to capture the Aconcagua Valley’s perfect conditions.

Vineyard: Aconcagua Valley, where abundant sunshine, clear skies and cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean create perfectly ripe, balanced wines.

Winemaking: Hand-harvesteted and aged in French and American oak barrels to add complexity while retaining the vibrant, youthful fruit.

Character: Full-bodied and dry with soft blackcurrant fruit and firm tannins.

Serve: With meat, game and hard cheeses.

Goto www.errazuriz.com for further information.

Wine – Cabernet Sauvignon Majella Coonawarra

This week’s wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon. My favourite grape 🙂

I wrote about Coonawarra wine before and it is a lovely wine region. The Majella Cabernet Sauvignon I got from Oddbins. It is now advertised for £16, I bought it for £15. However, it is not worth the money.
Being a nice wine of course, but I wouldn’t say it is worth more than £10 at the most. There is nothing special about this wine from my point of view, just a decent, good but not extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra. Majella

The Lynn Family’s Majella winery on the Eastern edge of the farmed Coonawarra “red stripe”, so it says on the bottle, and Oddbins says it is famous for producing elegant wines that are a world away from the turbo-charged styles of the Barossa. And, the wines of Majella are amongst this region’s finest.

Method of Production (taken from Oddbins website): Carefully selected grapes were destemmed, crushed and placed in stainless steel tanks to start their fermentation. The wine was then transferred into French oak hogsheads to complete fermentation. After undergoing malolactic fermentation and maturing for 22 months oak barrels, 50% of which were new, the wine was filtered and bottled.

Oddbins even recommends to have “a pan-fried fillet steak topped with stilton.” Maybe that is where I went wrong having it with antipasti, ham and pizza 🙂

A nice wine overall, high percentage of alcohol though: 14.5%.

Wines for under £10 – Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

I know, the prices are getting higher, as I bought the wine for £20 at Oddbins but realised they ripped me off as you can get this wine for under £10. For my “normal” wine consumption, I usually buy around £7-£10 at Waitrose and Tesco. However, for more special occasions, I buy wines for around £20, sometimes more. But this time Oddbins really managed to charge me double the amount other shops do.

The Chalk Hill, McLaren Vale, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003 was just about £18 at Oddbins. Our Oddbins in Beckenham has a selection that is getting worse every time I go but still manage to pick up a few nice bottles like this one. If you are looking closer you can pick this wine up for less than £10 at Playford Ross. It just shows how expensive Oddbins has become.

chalk hill

As you would expect from a Cabernet Sauvignon this wine is very fruity: blackcurrant, cassis and mulberry. It matured for 14 months in French oak but does not taste strong of oak. However, its complexity and tight tannin structure makes it a good wine to drink. Hints of spice, anise and cedar can be found. It is very good to have on its own after a hard day’s work.

With 14.5% alcohol this wine is rather on the high side of alcohol but does not come across too strong. You can see the wine “sticking to the glass”, almost oil like.

The McLaren Vale, just on the South West Coast of Australia, is part of the Fleurieu Zone. It is one of the few regions where you can find wine over 100 years old in Australia. Around Blewitt Springs, deep sandy soils over clay can yield particularly good Grenache – my wine atlas says. There is a long warm growing seasons, good air drainage to prevents frosts, and one fifths of the vineyards survive without the irrigation of water.

Enjoy this fantastic wine, but make sure not to buy it from Oddbins!

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Katnook Estate – Coonawarra – Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Another nice wine I need to talk about: Katnook EstateCoonawarra – Cabernet Sauvignon 2004.

I found it at Oddbins and even my wife, although she shouldn’t, nipped on it and liked it. Now we spoil our baby already, lol.

This Australian wine is from the famous Terra Rossa and is a wine of great complexity and distinction. A nose of ripe plum and dusty mulberry fruit complement the sweet vanilla oak tones. A wine just made for me. Heavy and ideal with cheese or a nice peace of meat 😉
Dark berries, spicy plum fruit, paired with vanillin and chocolate oak maturation notes.

Only drawback: they suggest to cellar this wine until 2014 or 2018….so off to Oddbins to get a case 🙂 But I just searched for it and Oddbins ain’t doing it no more 🙁 What a shame….


However, if you are looking for a stockist, try Bibendum in London. And, you might as well go for the founders block Cabernet Sauvignon….

Understudy Cabernet Petit Verdot

I went to oddbins the other day and wanted to try some new red wines. I like my heavy reds.

I was talking about it yesterday, e.g. that I would open some wine before heading out. Giving me the excuse to have a drop to lighten up, and to have only half a bottle on a Sunday before I go back to work.

So I opened: Pertaringa, McLaren Vale, Understudy Cabernet Petit Verdot, 2004.


80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Petit Verdot. Very nice!

I am normally not the greatest fan of Australian wines but the McLaren Vale ones are coming along great. Fruity, heavy and just as described on their website: perfumed nose with violets and Turkish Delight particularly associated with Petit Verdot, underscored by blackcurrant and spice with earthy nuances. The palate indulges with luscious rich flavours of blackcurrant, blackberry and stewed rhubarb. A well structured wine rounded off by well integrated oak characters and supple tannins.


sleep and wine

Sleep and wine, cheese and sleep….I covered the latter a while back.

Now, what do I want to discuss about wine. One of my “New Year Resolutions” is to drink less alcohol, particular wine. Why? Because it is healthier and I should rather go the gym or for a walk to relax. However, after 10 days of not drinking, I really fancied a glass of wine. Mainly because I read my wine magazine and therefore thought I should have a glass.

The first night I had a glass and didn’t sleep well. The next one I had a glass and a half (honestly) and thought the next day that I felt as if I was hangover? Wow, I thought, there must be a reason for it. Is it the food I had or the wine? Now, this morning, after quite a lot of food and half a bottle of wine, I feel fine. And, I did sleep ok but not as long as I would have if I had not been drinking.


  • I drink and don’t feel like I sleep better but cope with less sleep.
  • I don’t drink and sleep better but can sleep longer.

Why is that?

A quick internet search got me this article about sleeping and wine, outlining the benefits of wine for sleep.

They say that  “in addition to reducing risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, pre-mature aging and several forms of cancer, red wine also helps the body obtain the rest it needs to recover from the daily grind. The benefits of wine on sleep are not only from the alcohol, which, despite helping people fall asleep may actually worsen the quality of the sleep itself. The sleep benefits of wine come from a chemical called melatonin, found in high levels in the skins of red grapes.”

melatonin-in-wine1 The graph shows, that my most favourite wines, e.g. the heavy Cabernet Sauvignon, are the right ones for better sleep. So is my thesis wrong to say that I don’t sleep as well after having a glass of wine? They say if you have too much alcohol, you feel dehydrated, wake up and cannot go back to sleep. But that of course, is after a very heavy drinking night out.

Even the Daily Mail suggests to have a glass to get to sleep. And another online health journal suggests the same.

So, what is that Melatonin? It makes us drowsy, works as an antioxidant and helps our immune system. Wow, that is like a shake of fruit and vegetables, isn’t it? Grape juice of course 🙂 An overdose on Melatonin can cause hallucinating, however you also get more vivid dreams.

So, to look at my summary above, maybe it is different:

  • I drink and have a better, deeper sleep with more vivid dreams that make me feel like I had worse sleep. However, I can cope with less hours of sleep because I slept deeper.
  • I don’t drink and don’t sleep as well and therefore, I need more sleep.

Maybe and quite certainly, the truths is anywhere in between.  A glass a day keeps the doctor away and is good for my sleep.

Now, I have changed my New Year’s Resolution. How wonderful that science is helping me out here….now I will look for ways to avoid the gym 😉

Have a great Sunday,