2005 Chalk Creek Mendocino County Petite Sirah

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Not a word to be found…guess I will have to make my opinion authoratative…

What I Think:

To be authoritative I should have taken more robust notes which I did not. In a nutshell I found this one rich & robust with some hints of varietal character when looking through my optimistic glasses. Switching over to the side of pessimism I find this slightly medicinal, definitely a doctored taste as this from a fruit perspective is too far over the top. That leaves me straddling the fence. One I am likely to pick up again but I will leave it to you to decide for yourself.

Rating: 12th Bottle

2002 Chalk Creek Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Guaranteed Google #1 search result as I could find but a mere mention of this wines existence…

What I Think:

Here’s one for more recent times. I was down in Santa Cruz to do a triathlon last weekend and hit the local TJ’s while in the area. They had this one featured with an end cap placement. Seeing Paso Robles on the label I was game for $5. I’ve always seemed to think there were bargain gems to be found from the Central Coast.

Taking a look at the bottle I initially thought that it was Chalk Hill which is a designation used in Sonoma. Adding to the confusion the vinter, Windsor Vineyards, further indicated it may be from north rather than south. It took me a full hour or so to realize the label was Chalk Creek. On checking the winery site I quickly confirmed they weren’t interested in claiming it. This is traditionally not the best sign. On opening the bottle and taking the first sip my initial thoughts were that the wine was unremarkable. As I continued through the bottle this feeling grew on me. Upon level setting my expectations on what a $5 of Cab should be that initial thought changed. The wine showed good depth and fruit while not appearing overly manufactured or “plonky”. Though not many varietal characteristics were apparent this would still qualify as a textbook quaffer. My initial thought was to “Skip It” which if you don’t care for Cab is still the way to go. Give that I do this will be the “12th Bottle” in my cart until I find something better under $8.

Rating: 12th Bottle