La Posta Cocina Blend Mendoza 2008

La Posta Cocina Blend Mendoza 2008Just snagged a case of the La Posta Vineyards Cocina Blend Mendoza Argentina 2008 from the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits online store.

“‘The 2008 Cocina Blend composed of 60% Malbec, 20% Bonarda, and 20% Syrah aged for 12 months in 20% new French and American oak before bottling without fining and filtration (as are all of these red wines). Purple-colored, it has an enticing bouquet of cinnamon, Dentyne gum, cigar box, violets, black cherry, and blueberry. Medium-bodied, round and sweetly-fruited on the palate, it has plenty of savory spice notes, enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years, and a lengthy, pure finish. Drink it from 2010 to 2016.”

Price $14.99

90 points, Wine Advocate, August 2009

Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2006

Kaiken Ultra Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2006
$12.99 — 91 WA | 90 WS

Kaiken Ultra Malbec

Source: KaikenWines.com

This is my third post about the Kaiken Ultra Malbec 2003.  My other posts are here and here.

For better or for worse, we drank the last bottle from our case many weeks ago.  However, over the holiday one of my relatives — and blog readers 🙂 — had several bottles on hand and was happy to share the wealth.  I can now say with great confidence, this may be the finest bottle of wine produced in the 21st century for under $13.  Truly a wonderful wine for the money.

3 Wines Under $10

Over the holiday I took three wines, each of which cost $10 or less, to one of the family gatherings.  The wines included:

Arthur Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles California 2006 — $9.99

Nine x Nine Zinfandel Lodi California 2006 — $9.99

Bodega Norton Malbec Barrel Select Mendoza Argentina 2006 — $8.99

I had high hopes for all three, especially the Arthur Hills, as finding a decent California Cab for $10 has become almost impossible. Unfortunately, my search continues. The Arthur Hills was by far the worst of the three wines. It had a bizarre nose — think some combination of rotting organic matter and petrol. On the palate it was watery thin with flavors of strawberries — but of a decidedly artifical nature. At any rate, not what you want from a Cab. In short, this is one of the worst wines I can recall drinking in a long while. After a few sips, it went down the drain. It looks like the Gun Bun Cab gets to retain its title as the best California Cab under $15.

Next up was the Nine x Nine Zin. I was hoping for perhaps an alternative to Renwood or Dancing Bull. Certainly for $10 I had no expectations of Ridge… Alas, for me, this wine was also a disappointment. Mind you, it was not so visibly flawed as the Arthur Hills, but it was still just a bit beyond the borderline of acceptable. Of course, in wine as so many other things opinions vary; one of the other wine enthusiasts at the party thought it wasn’t so bad.

The third of the three turned out to be the best. The Norton Malbec was fragrant on the nose and full and lush in the mouth. It would benefit from a bit more grip on the palate and a little less ripenness, but overall, this was a drinkable wine. I have also recommended this wine to some friends who reported back that they enjoyed it very much. Although the Norton will never be mistaken for Kaiken, it is perfectly adequate for social gatherings and everyday drinking.

Kaiken Ultra Reprised

Kaiken Ultra Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2006
$12.99 — 91 WA | 90 WS

Kaiken Ultra Malbec

Source: KaikenWines.com

Just a quick update on my earlier post. Over the last month I have served the Kaiken Ultra Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2006 to a wide variety of guests, and it never fails to elicit unsolicited raves. Several guests have even gone in search of it by the case.  This is a big wine with a lot on the nose and a long long finish.  Enjoy.

Two To Try

In addition to the Gun Bun Cab, we had two other noteworthy wines this past weekend.

Kaiken Ultra Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2006
$12.99 — 91 WA | 90 WS

Kaiken Ultra Malbec

Source: KaikenWines.com

First, the Kaiken Ultra Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2006 ($12.99).  A-ma-zing.  Robert Parker rated this wine 91 points.  Loads of fruit and a long long finish.  At $13 this wine is a screaming value.

“The 2006 Ultra Malbec was aged for 12 months in French oak. The oak influence is apparent in the attractive perfume which also has notes of violets, black cherry and a hint of chocolate. This is followed by a structured wine that will benefit from 2-3 years of additional bottle age. The fruit is mouth-filling and has good depth and the firm finish lasts for more than 45 seconds.”  Source: KaikenWines.com

In addition to the 91 points from Robert Parker, the Kaiken Ultra Malbec also scored 90 points from Wine Spectator.  Visit the Kaiken Wines website for more reviews.

Second, our neighbors Wes and Michelle brought over the Frei Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Alexander Valley 2005.  This was another outstanding wine.  Everything you expect from a California Cabernet.