Virgin Experiences and a Pricey Cab: A Weekend Splurge

31 Jan

How many people out there love a big, age-worthy Napa cabernet? I see a lot of hands up!  I understand, it can be really expensive, but it’s an experience that is worth chasing from time to time. And, I try to include them in my posts when I think that they warrant a cheer.

chappellet_cab_sauvThis week, the 2009 Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon (#704254 $68.95) is one of those experiences. “Holy H – E – double hockey sticks”, you say. “That’s expensive, Bill”. No denying it, it’s D – A – Bachtrian camel – Dromedary expensive. Always wondered when I could use my Middle Eastern zoology credit. But, getting back to the wine, this wine will age beautifully for years and will drink now too – solid, just enough oak, tannins are kind. This is pretty awesome stuff. Personal declaration – I do not hold any of this stock and am basing my recommendation on the previous two years and the fact that this vintage is more or less comparable to 2007, which I have had, loved and stashed. Previous earnings are no guarantee of future earnings. Buy and hold I say.

Chapel_Hill_CabernetOne of my first forays into finer (read: more expensive) wines was at a wine tasting here in London. It was a revelation due to several wines (Caymus Special Selection, Pol Roger Winston Churchill Cuvée to name a couple) but one was an Australian wine from Chapel Hill. It was the cabernet sauvignon and I know that I was blown away with the new, complex experience that I had. Well, we all remember our first time. Sad to say that I remember this ‘first time’ best. This week, I’m returning to that solid winery for a splurge – 2010 Chapel Hill Shiraz (#743989 $26.95). This wine will keep for awhile but can also be consumed now with burnt stuff, stew, etc. It’s not as heavy as you might expect. If you’re an Aussie shiraz lover, try this on and see if you can have one of those ‘first times’. FYI, their cabernet sauvignon is also on shelves starting Saturday – 2010 Chapel Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (#965830 $25.95). Haven’t had this vintage but if it’s anything like the one back in the ‘Summer of the Short Corn’, when I came of age, it will be fabulous.

chateau_de_fontaineFor a white splurge, latch on to the 2011 Château Fontaine-Audon (#745893 $27.95). This is Sancerre’s answer to New World sauvignon blanc. Actually, New World s.b is their answer to Sancerre. This is flinty, tight and still releasing all sorts of fruit – typical of the grape (gooseberries). I love this stuff! Plus, it’s so good with food. If you’re having it now, when it’s crisp outside, maybe try poultry with some kind of acidic sauce, perhaps citrus. Or, you can pop and pour on its own, or with some seafood. I usually don’t provide scores but David Lawrason of  gave this a 92!

3 Responses to “Virgin Experiences and a Pricey Cab: A Weekend Splurge”

  1. Krystle van Hoof (@Krystlev) February 19, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    You know how I love a McLaren Vale Shiraz (; so I was excited to see this in the list. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t quite up to par. It was better with food, but fell a bit flat on its own. That said, I’ve usually found that I can’t get away with a really good shiraz for under $29, so no biggie.


  2. winebill February 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Sorry Krystal, I actually thought of you when I made the suggestion. I’m oing to have to try a Doowie Doole to get the gist.



  1. Spell Checking Australia’s Coonawarra and Tuscan Splurges « Duff's Wines - February 15, 2013

    […] wine has been unavailable in Ontario for a number of years, I seem to think. Harkening back to this post about my lost virginity of tasting wines for the first time, when I tried a cabernet from Coonawarra […]


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