Searching for wine is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job, but not always the most tasty. The process of searching for a few wines can take me weeks and many flights of very mediocre wine (I recognize that my day of tasting nasty wine is not a bad thing but there is only so much crap wine I can take in one sitting). I am currently on the hunt for high quality and high value wines made in the United States. You may have noticed that I rarely write about domestic wines. It is not that I do not enjoy them, it is that too many of them are over-priced or not as high in quality/value as their imported rivals. Until today it has been difficult to find domestic wines under $20 per bottle that satisfied me as much as a $15 or $10 wine from Argentina, Italy or Spain. I am extremely excited to report that I have found a group of wines that are all from the good ol' USA, taste great and won't cost you (or I) the rest of your savings. At my second meeting of the day (11:00 AM wine tastings!) I was presented the wines of the Magnanimus Wine Group and am excited to report that these are some of the best domestic wines I have tried in a long while.
Wine: Ukiah Cellars
Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin: California AVA - but grapes are currently all
from Mendocino county
Retail: $12 - $16
Website: Ukiah Cellars
Tasting Notes: The moment the wine was poured in my glass I got a big whiff and knew I was in for a treat. The color of the wine was an opaque garnet and it slightly stained the glass as the tears ran down, causing me to second guess that the wine was going to be a big over-ripe juice bomb, I was wrong. Aromas of plum, black cherries, wild blackberries, black currants, dried herbs, sweet pipe tobacco, cedar, rosewood and baking spices filled my office and threw me back into my chair. I looked up at the sales rep and was scared to ask the price. He told me to at least taste the wine before he would tell. As I sipped the wine the aromas coated my nose and palate as the wine flowed like velvet into my mouth coating it with rich dark fruit flavors, earthiness of the dried herbs and a slight hint of cocoa dust. The wine was medium in body with ripe tannins that were pleasant versus too drying. This is a REALLY good wine made in a very minuscule quantity for such an inexpensive wine. If you want to search for this wine, go to their website and, if you are in a state that allows Internet wine buying do it, if not email them and I imagine they can tell you were to find the wine. This is worth the search.