Saturday, April 23, 2005

Friday Night Fights, "Castle Rock" by a Nose

Yes sports fans, time again for another recap of the Friday Night Fights at Grape Vine Market. This week it was again Napa Cabernet Sauvignon under (or around) $20. I think they have at least one more 1st round maybe two of similar Napa Cabs before they start to match up the winners from earlier weeks. This week there were 3 wines tasted and once again the winner, for me, was really a close call. Yet, with the price differential, one is a much better value in my opinion. The 3 wines, in blind tasting order, were:

A. Castle Rock 2003 Napa County Cabernet Sauvignon $10.99
B. Edgewood Estate 1998 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $16.79
C. William Hill 2001 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon $19.49

Unfortunately, none of these wines really knocked my socks off. A was fruity, light and very drinkable but I didn’t think it had much structure to it. B was more interesting but just a little too funky for me. It had a very earthy aroma and was a good example of what I sometimes read described as “forest floor”. It was definitely somewhere deep in the woods. C had a bit more heft to it and I really enjoyed it. And yet, I think the tasting order might have ruined it for me. I was getting no nose off the William Hill Cab. I think the earthy Edgewood Estate might have influenced my tasting of C. So, it was a toss up between A and C for me. In the end I went with A, the Castle Rock, for no other other reason than I simply enjoyed it more than the other two. In the back of my mind though I figured the winner of the night would very likely be C.

Predictably perhaps, when the votes tallied so far were revealed, it was neck and neck between A and C. I think B had garnered one vote and that was from an employee of Grapevine. (Sympathy vote perhaps?) I was there fairly early so I’m not sure which ultimately won the night. Hopefully I’ll find out in a subsequent week. So far, I predict nothing from the last two weeks is likely to beat the Big Ass Cab from my initial ‘Fights’ posting. Time will tell. Tune in for future postings.

Personally I hope C, the William Hill, lives on to another week so I can compare it in a different context.

About $11
hmm, let’s see. I did like this wine, but then I didn’t walk out of the store with one either, did I? Thus no picture in this posting. I’m likely to try this one again in the right circumstance, especially given it’s price. But Castle Rock also lists three other Cabs in the same price range – from Sonoma, from Columbia Valley and from Alexander Valley. They also list one from Napa “Valley” as opposed to Napa “County” but the link on their web site is broken for that one so perhaps they no longer offer it. I’m actually more likely to move on to try one of those other wines from Castle Rock and so I give this one a one-glass rating.


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