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Thursday, October 12, 2006

2003 R Collection Cabernet Sauvignon

A few months ago I was at the local wine shop during a small tasting and a guy came up to me and said “how about you recommend a Shiraz to me for under $20.” I was taken aback to say the least. I don’t look like your typical wine guy and he didn’t look familiar to me, but I politely engaged him in conversation saying that while I don’t actively dislike Shiraz, I tend to avoid them because they’re not my style though I do enjoy them in blends. He asked what my style was and I said “Cabernets and Rhone blends mainly.” He asked me to make a suggestion of something I like for under $20.

Without hesitation I walked directly to the display of this wine and said it was one of my favorites.

At $18 this is just above my normal price range and I’ve had this bottle on the wine rack for quite a while...I’ve been saving it, I don’t know for what, but I was. Today I realized–what the hell am I saving this for? It’s not that expensive and it’s not difficult to find.

I poured the glass with a bit of fear–I gave this wine top recommendations, I haven’t had it in months, everytime I’m at the shop I think about how much I like it, I even gave my boss a bottle for her birthday telling her it was the best wine I’ve had...have I built this wine up so much that I’m going to be disappointed?

I stopped, and thought that whatever preconceptions I have going in, forget them as much as possible, and just try it.

On my first sip all the fears went away. This is, flat out, my favorite wine. This is the standard I hold other wines to. When I try a $50 bottle, I think how does it compare to R Collection’s Cabernet?

The nose has lots of oak, dirt, and spice. There’s little fruit on the nose, but I do get a suggestion of cherries.

The palate has oak, tobacco, cinnamon, anise, blackberries, cherries, spice, and earth...there’s even a bit of that cola flavor I love. On top of all that, the tannins are smooth and silky. A wonderful balance of earth and fruit. The finish has an interesting start of anise and then fades to strawberries.

This is it, if this bottle was $50 I’d buy it again.

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