Tag Archives: Wine

Beringer Distinction Series Cabernet Sauvignon


Thanks to the fine folks at Casemates I was happy to receive a lovely little box containing a bottle of the 2014 vintage of Beringer Distinction Series Cabernet Sauvignon vertical (2014, 2015, and 2016)  from Napa Valley that they’re selling this weekend to review.   I popped it and let it sit in the open bottle for about an hour before pouring through an aerator,  and tasting at room temperature.

The color is beautiful, and on the nose I was getting a some leather and vegetal notes along with some blackberry and a bit of heat.  On the palate I was getting a flash of blueberry and a big pop of peppery spice which gave way to the distinctive very dry black tea notes of firm well-structured tannins.  In the finish, the tannins stayed in the fore with a bit of leather, but were met with a rising plum right at the end that balanced the dryness quite nicely with fruit.

My wife picked up a similar progression, categorizing the front of the palate as the same heavy spice and currants, followed by full-bodied tannins, and picking up tobacco and earth in the finish.

It isn’t a particularly complex CS, but progresses nicely though a series of flavors and there’s ultimately some good balance between the fruit and the dry, earthy flavors.   In my opinion this wine would be best with food, and though unfortunately I had oral surgery the day before last and can’t eat anything other than soft food for the next few days (and am not supposed to drink alcohol; oops!) it strikes me that it would be extremely well suited to pairing with lamb or pork.

Thanks again to Casemates for this bottle!

Frogs Tooth Sangiovese

Wine review!  I know it isn’t craft beer, but hey, we like good wine here too, right?  I know I do.   CaseMates.com sent me a bottle of Frog’s Tooth’s 2016 Sangiovese to try in advance of today’s offer, so I figured I’d post my review here as well for readers who are interested in the wine world as well.


First – This is a young wine, significantly more so than the other 2016 Cali Sangiovese examples I’ve had recently (Benessere and Pedroncelli) and to really bring out its strengths it will need to either be laid down for awhile, or spend a few hours in a decanter.

We drink our reds warm, so after it arrived Thursday afternoon, it went into the wine fridge to be chilled to a balmy 64F.   Popped it Saturday evening and left it to sit for an hour before pouring, and then for another half an hour in the glass before trying it. I’d give the tasting notes, but really it suffices to say that it wasn’t ready, so put a stopper in and left it for another go on Sunday.

Sunday evening, tried a taste and it wasn’t noticeably different, so the rest of the bottle went in the decanter for two and a half hours or so.  That, and a bit of time in the glass made all the difference.

The alcohol is fairly high at 15.3% ABV, and it’s noticeable in all phases, though it moved  from overpowering in the first tasting to a consistently present undertone in the final tasting.

The nose has pronounced cherry, and I got some leather, my wife got some earthy notes.

In the middle the cherry notes dominate.  I also got a bit of plum and a tiny hint of vanilla. Acidity is on the high side, though it dropped a bit after the decanting.  It’s tannic, and the tannins are still firm and well structured and give it a substantial drying finish.  The body is full and robust.

Ultimately, it was a really nice, straight-forward wine, balanced and full bodied, not a lot of complexity but a cherry central theme very much in keeping with the style of a California Sangiovese.