Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Long Time Coming

Sorry, I've been missing in action for a few weeks here! I'm well into my fourth week here in New Zealand, and it's been a whirlwind thus far. My first two weeks in Blenheim were spent acclimatising to my new employer: new co-workers, new facility, and new problems. Everyone was more than welcoming and made me feel like home. The facility in beautifully designed and just seven years old. As expected, there are plenty of variables to be considered, especially since we'll be processing over 30% more fruit than last vintage.

I've been back here in Gisborne for ten days or so, and it's been great catching up with old friends. Back at the old winery (purchased by the Blenheim winery), we've been busy preparing for vintage. The new ownership has brought new systems that we're busily attempting to integrate with our old systems. We did get our first grapes of the season last Wednesday, which inevitably pointed out some problems to be addressed. So, hopefully all will be well as we head into this weekend with plans of harvesting nearly 1,000 tons in five days.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Souverain 2006 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Souverain was founded during World War II in the Napa Valley. It's founder, J. Leland Stewart, steadily built the brand for thirty years until its sale in 1973. The new owners relocated Souverain to an Alexander Valley winery whose estate vineyard dates back to the late 19th century. This vineyard was replanted in its entirety in the 1980's and today is Souverain's primary fruit source, with 280 acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Winery - Souverain  
Location - Cloverdale, California 
Wine - Souverain 2006 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County
Alcohol - 14.1% v/v 
Price - $17 USD 

Nose/Aroma - Blackberries, pepper, and mushrooms.
Palate/Flavors - Black currants and plum, backed with a fresh soil characteristic and black pepper. Decently structured and balanced, not a huge wine as such. Med-long finish of dried raspberries.
Style - One could call it cab-light (not the structure of a Bordeaux or Napa).
Comments - Refreshing to see there are still Cabernets available that don't need an oak crutch. Pretty well balanced, nice flavor profile.

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