Wednesday, April 11, 2007

WBW #32: Reserve or not Reserve?

Reserve or not Reserve? That is the question asked by The Wine Cask Blog for the 32nd edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday. This month, we need to determine whether Reserve wines are really better than their regular counterparts. What a great question! And are they worth the price, can they age better?

For this experiment, I chose to compare (blind) two wines from Merryvale Vineyards: the 1999 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon bought $20.80 at the time, and the 1999 Merryvale Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon that costed me $30.20. Both are from the Napa Valley, from the same vintage, and both have some amount of Merlot in the blend.

In the glass, the two wines had a similar deep garnet color, the Reserve being slightly darker. The regular Cabernet had a bright, spicy, and smoky nose whereas the Reserve had a denser nose with black fruit and cherry liqueur aromas, and some smoky notes. On the palate, the regular Cabernet was medium-bodied, slightly lean on the mid palate with some acidity on the finish. In comparison, the Reserve had a fuller and more complex body, with a more tannic finish.

At the end, it was easy to identify the two wines. The regular Cabernet was a fine wine that had aged pretty well but it didn't have the complexity of the Reserve. Does that mean that the Reserve was worth the price? I think so.

Technorati tags::

No comments: