2004 Evans & Tate Cabernet Sauvignon Underground Series

Price: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Scott Street Portfolio

What They Said:

Per the distributor or at least I thought so. As you can see her no links for the 2004 Cab nor the ’03. I emailed them to see if they had anything but no response. Wonder what gives. Nothing to be found anywhere on the internet for the ’04. I remember hearing about them going bankrupt. Is that it? Think the sold the whole lot to TJ’s?

What I Think:

This one was a surprise which makes my experience described above even more confounding. I know this winery is located in Western Australia in the Margaret River region. Given that the rest of their bottlings are from this area I am guessing the majority of the fruit for this one must be as well. On the nose you get loads of dark fruit with hints of pepper and spice. The fruit follows in the mouth with spicy overtones leading through to a finish of black fruits that lingers nicely. This wine isn’t complex but it is quaffable and enjoyable. Not sure you can ask for much more at $4. It’s also a screwcap to boot!

Rating: Buy It

2004 Evans & Tate Unwooded Chardonnay Underground Series

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Scott Street Portfolio

What They Said:

Per sfgate.com “Evans & Tate is based in the picturesque sub-appellation of Margaret River, which with its cool maritime-influenced climate is similar to Bordeaux. One of the region’s well-known producers, Evans & Tate recently launched the Underground Series line of wines. Grapes for the series come not only from Margaret River, but also the larger wine region of Western Australia.

A common sight in Australia, unwooded or unoaked Chardonnays are becoming popular here. Since no oak barrels were used, this zesty white is packed with melon and green apple fruitiness. As the Aussies would say, both are ideal “verandah wines” for sipping al fresco.

Try this lively, elegant, perfumed, light-to-medium-bodied Chardonnay offering fine tropical, lime, and pear fruit with an fine mineral component and a refreshing balance. Long and clean, it develops nicely in the glass.Fine. Bear’s Score: 88 points.”

What I Think:

While in Australia I we tried a few good unwooded chards that made me think that this might be my answer.  This one wasn’t quite what I was after.  The fruit up front wasn’t up to par and more importantly the mineral flavors on the backend quickly leaving you with a cold tongue.  I’ll thought about rating this 12th bottle just because TJ’s doesn’t have any other unwooded options but I don’t really want to see this in my house again.

Rating: Skip It