Monday, November 19, 2012

Winey Tasting Notes: Bennett Family Cabernet Sauvignon

I don't know about you, but when I hear the words "Bennett Family" my winey mind takes me straight to the pages of my all time favorite book, Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice". I actually love all of her books, but since Pride was my very first Austen read, it gets first place. So when my friends at The Wine Chateau decided to bless me with some bottles to review, you can imagine my great pleasure when I pulled this one out of the box. Immediately, I felt another visit to Longbourne and the Bennett sisters coming on. Or maybe even another viewing of THE ONLY mini-series version of this book that is worth watching. And by that I mean the one with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Don't argue it with me, you will NOT win.

So I grabbed my very worn book and settled in for some sipping and reading. The wine in my glass was a Bennett Family Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (2006, 14.5%, Napa, CA). The Bennetts are actually a branch of the William Grant (of Glenfidditch Scotch whiskey fame), so they come with a pretty long and distinguished pedigree in the world of wine and spirits. Sort of like Mr. Darcy's lofty ancestry, instead of Elizabeth Bennetts more humble origins.

The nose on this wine is of black cherries, very ripe dark berries some cardamon and a hint of wet fall air...the kind of air that lets you know that autumn has definitely arrived, along with its spicy outdoor smells. It tasted of juicy cherries with the dark berries hanging around the outer edges. The tannins were big with a very warm (thank you 14.5% alcohol content) and oakey finish. I kept waiting for the fruits to show up a bit more, but the oak definitely won that battle. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you don't like your reds big and oakey and tannic, I'd stay away. However, if you are stuck inside on a rainy fall day and the rain is slowly turning into a sleety mix, and there is a fire in the fireplace and a copy of "Pride and Prejudice" is in your hands, definitely open this. It pairs very well with a real wood fire next to your chair.

Something else that surprised me about this wine was that I liked it a lot more before I used my aerator than after. And that usually doesn't happen... but for some reason, once the (fall) air hits it, the oak becomes a lot more powerful. If you drink it right away, the fruits really come through the oak and make a much more complex taste.

Firth as Darcy.
'Nuff said.
A note about the Wine Chateau here... this is one of the easiest and most accessible on-line sites to shop. All their wines are discounted, you get your 10% off per case, and over 150 of the wines are free shipping. For instance, the Bennett Family Cabernet Sauvignon normally retails for about $35 a bottle..but you'll get it for about $20 at their site. And it also happens to be one of their free ship wines right now, so ordering a case will cost you nothing more than the wine price and the energy you use to uncork the bottle. (Don't waste your energy will want to save some in order to lift the glass.) Oh, and, um did I mention that the Wine Chateau has two retail locations as well in the great state of NEW JERSEY?? (Remember, I live in Ohio, but I was born and raised a Jersey girl. Although there are those time when I wished was an Edwardian lass in the same town as Colin Firth, er, Mr. Darcy.)


The Wine Chateau sent me this wine for review purposes. The opinions are my own.

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  1. I'm also a huge Pride and Prejudice fan :)

    Thanks for sharing about the Wine Chateau....always looking for places to get great deals. And great review!

    1. Natalie, I'm always VERY glad to hear from a fellow P&P fan! Cheers!!!


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