Below are two wines that will be featured by the glass at Braddock’s American Brasserie Tuesday Tasting (located at the Renaissance Hotel downtown Pittsburgh). I will review and discuss two wines every Tuesday – should be fun!
First up is the white wine feature: Beringer Vineyards Chardonnay Private Reserve 2008 This wine has a rich yellow color that hints at the chardonnay’s concentration and complexity. Pineapple and floral nose is followed by rich, intense flavors of pear, apple and butter that give way to some mineral and oak flavors on the long finish. More full and lush than most White Burgundies, this wine has texture, yet remains focused throughout – possibly too big to some foods, but satisfying by itself.
The featured red wine is Robert Mondavi’s Cabernet Sauvignon Private Selection 2008 is an interesting wine. The grapes are chosen from various California locations, not necessarily including Napa Valley and the blend is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (at 77% by far the largest component, which is why the wine can officially be labeled “cabernet”). The rest of the blend might be expected to be traditional “Bordeaux-Blend” in which the dominant varietal (in this case Cabernet) might be supported by a dose of Merlot… but Mondavi decided to blend Syrah with their cabernet, with the overall blend as follows: Cabernet Sauvignon77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petite Sirah, 1% Sangiovese.
Despite the slight departure from traditional Bordeaux Blend, this cabernet opens with thick fruit flavor with notes of dark cherry, blackberry and plum with a very slight grapiness at mid-palate. The texture of the wine is medium bodied and the finish shows notes of oak and spice. Definitely a new world red, but not so much as to include the less than desirable “jammy” flavor that many new world cabernets contain. Overall, a very satisfying wine for the price point.