Chateau St. Jean, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008

While I haven't had one in a little while, I'm a fan of Chateau St. Jean. I finally tried their 2008 vintage and found it to be reasonable, but not great. It's hard to say what's missing and it could very well be just more time in the bottle. In general, the quality is there, the flavors are all there (albeit, a bit faded) and it gets that initial impression of a great wine, but finishes like a decent-but-not-great one. I'll be waiting to taste some more of it next year.


Robert Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006

Mondavi is almost always a good wine. This one is no exception. But it's not exceptional either. It's somewhat fruity but generally well-rounded. For its $7 price tag, it can be an every day wine with no problem.


McManis, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008

Here's another McManis. This Cab'08 is decent, though it could use a few more years in the bottle. It's well-balanced throughout and a very decent companion for beef strogonoff. My guests loved it and so did I. For about ten George Washingtons, its cost-benefit is absurdly good.


Catena, Malbec, 2007

I love Malbec with a good meat -- ribs especially (beef, not pork, though pork is good too). This Catena 2007 is a great Malbec from Argentina. It's oaky just right and a bit spicy with hints of vanilla and peppercorn. Delicious. (Oh, and the ribs were melting in their own fat after 8 hours of slow roasting).