Chappellet Winery, located in Napa Valley, is one of my favorite wineries. I've been saving a bottle of their 2007 Cabernet for some time now and plan on opening it in 2012, and I've just found some bottles of 2008 that I am going to cellar. Their Cabernet usually runs around $50, though, so it's not exactly a weekday wine for me. However, the Mountain Cuvee, which runs about $25, is right up my alley. A wonderful blend, it's made of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, and 1% each of Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
The bouquet is fruity with undertones of earthiness, and the color is a lush garnet. It has a good, substantial body to it - but not too heavy.
Upon tasting, it reveals a vibrant fruit, as well as a potent acidity that is quite refreshing. The tannins are surprisingly soft, but they are there, lingering in the background, giving the wine structure. The wine is rather strong - nearly 15% alcohol by volume - and packs a potent punch, with a lingering tannic finish.
I enjoyed the wine with filet mignon (braised in red wine with onions) and a potato dauphinoise. Strangely, the wine was nicer with the potatoes, cutting through their butteriness and cleansing the palate, than with the steak - the wine was too potent for the steak, overpowering the flavor. I think it would have been better with a grilled or broiled preparation.
I love Chappellet and they are at the top of my list of wineries I would like to visit in California. Their wines are a bit harder to find, but if you see them, get them - you won't be disappointed!
Books: Started reading Salem's Lot, but also reading my friend's Nanowrimo novel right now.
Bottles: The aforementioned Chappellet 2007 Mountain Cuvee.
Writing: Working on revising the last chapter of my novella; I find I don't have much to change in this last chapter. I don't know if that's because it's too near or because I just really like it. It's the part I got the most positive feedback on, so I feel okay about not revising it too much, though I would like to take the emotional impact even further.
Guitar: Working on "Sheep" as well as Carcassi's "Study in A."