2005 Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $5.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per wine.com “Aromas of truffle, blackberry liqueur and hints of tobacco precede a rich, silky, velvet-textured palate of ripe black fruits and chocolate with a touch of toasty oak on the long, pure finish.” – Juan Munoz Oca, Winemaker

What I Think:

Given my recent success with the Columbia Crest Grand Estates and Two Vines offerings I was curious to see how this old favorite would be after such a bittersweet ending last time around. It quickly became apparent that my fleeting memories were the correct ones. This wine is eminently drinkable but that is about the highest compliment I can pay it. It comes off as made in the laboratory with over the top fruits and a manufactured type of varietal-less appeal. The fruit is big and overwhelming but there isn’t much else going in this one’s favor. You can keep the money in the Chateau Ste. Michelle family but be sure to direct it towards those Columbia Crest bottles. For a $1 less you can get a wine that I would call two times as good. Anyone else out there had both? What do you think?

Rating: Skip It

2003 Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the winery “Aromas of black cherry, blackberries, liqueur and hints of tobacco and smoke precede a rich, silky palate of cherry, chocolate and black fruits with a touch of toasty oak on the finish.”

What I Think:

This wine is made by one of the Washington behemoths; Chateau Ste. Michelle. It consists of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. This bottling use to be one I liked quite a bit when it was on the shelves say six months ago so I had been looking at the remaining bottle for some time. I figured I would save it for an evening when I needed to have a nice wine, a known commodity and last night turned out to be that night. Boy was I disappointed. Coming off a series of good wines over the last ten days this one tasted almost like, dare I say it, manufactured plonk! There was not one unique varietal character about this wine. You could drink the bottle with 4 people and at least two wouldn’t know it was Cab, I may be one of them. Don’t get me wrong this was still nice to drink and maybe worth buying again but it certainly didn’t meet the nostalgia I had been feeling after looking at this bottle for weeks. If it were still in the stores I may give it another shot as I don’t want the memories to end like this. Six months ago I was buying this wine regularly. Have my taste changed that much over that timeframe? Was this bottle slightly off? Unfortunately we will never know as it is long gone from TJ’s.

Rating: 12th Bottle