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Taste Live: Wente Vineyards

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I just finished an online virtual tasting through 3 wines from Wente Vineyards as part of a Taste Live.  What a great way to spend a snowy New England winter evening.

Wente is a long-standing California producer with vineyards in California's Livermore Valley and Monterey.  I've seen their wines around, and thought they had attractive packaging, but this was the first time I had a chance to try them.  Here are my notes... 

2008 Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay
13.5% Alcohol, $19.99 release price
My Notes:
Vibrant pear aromas dominate the nose- makes me look forward to tasting it.  Creamy on the palate, with a clean finish.  It doesn't get too sticky sweet but it's a really tasty, easy drinking wine.  I like it!
88/100: Very Good

2007 Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
13.5% Alcohol, $14.99 release price
This is a nice looking bottle of Cab for $14.99 (and presumably less in shops if you're crafty).  Straightforward medium bodied California Cab.  Soft from the word "go". Medium bodied for a CA Cab. Easy drinking style. Tasty.  Would have liked it more if it were a little more dense.
84/100: Good

2007 Wente The Nth Degree Syrah
14.4% Alcohol, $45 release price
This is a big wine.  A laser beam of acidic twang on the first sip, but it softens in the glass.  Chalky ripe red raspberry/semi-sweet chocolate on the palate.  A nice, hearty wine that would pair nicely with a New York Strip Steak.
89/100: Very Good

Not surprisingly, the quality of these wines as assessed by the folks tasting them online seemed to align with price.  It's always interesting to wonder if this would have been exactly the case if the tasting had been conducted blind without awareness of price.

Check 'em out:
Wente Vineyards 

Thanks to Wente for sending these wines as samples.  I appreciate it.

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