Herzog Generation 8, Teal Lake Moscato D’Aussie vs. Sara Bee Moscato, Elvi Wines Brut Cava
This past weekend we were honored to be eating with friends who were celebrating being first time grand parents! Their friends came up from LA, and brought some wonderful wines, cakes, and cookies. We partook from two of their wines, and we added in a bubbly as well.
I must state that the 2002 Herzog Generation 8 was truly the winner of the evening. It is a massive wine with a rich and layered mouthfeel that still has a year of kick left in it. We used to make fun of it, because essentially it was nothing more than the Herzog Special Edition, with more oak on it. Well, I recant all of my previous jokes about it. To be honest, I would never buy one of these bottles, as it is far too expensive for my tastes, but I am more than honest enough to state that the wine is impressive.
The other wine that our friend’s friends brought over was a lovely Moscato from Teal Lake. The name, Moscato D’Aussie, is a humorous take on the Italian blue bottle – Moscato D’Asti. The first thing that hit me when I smelled this wine was gooseberry! Now gooseberry is famous in Australian Sauvignon Blanc, but I did not expect it in Moscato!
As an aside, Royal Wines has declared war on Trader Joe’s Sara Bee Moscato! All over the Internet, you can find this pleasant tasting Moscato for $6.75 or lower. That is right in the wheelhouse of Trader Joe’s Sara Bee, which retails for $5.99. A dollar is a dollar, but it is clear, that Royal went out and looked for a bottle that they could play ball with. This Moscato D’Aussie is undercutting one of their cash cows, the Bartenura Blue Bottle. This has always been an age-old question in marketing and war, how do you fight the little guy that has lower overhead and equal quality product, who can out price you? Answer; undercut yourself, by building the same product in a location that woks for you. The old saying is true, “if you cannot beat them – join them”. I personally like the Sara Bee Moscato more, but Royal has declared open season on Sara Bee, and the winners are all of us!
Finally, we opened a bottle of Elvi Wines Cava Brut, it was clean and refreshing with a lovely mousse of small bubbles, and nice citrus background.
The wine notes follow below, and many thanks to our friends and their friends for the lovely wine, company, and fantastic food!
2002 Herzog Generation 8 Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast & Napa Valley – Score: A-
The nose on this black colored wine is super rich with cedar, blackberry, cassis, currant, dark cherry, crushed herbs, licorice, black pepper, cloves, graphite, mint, vanilla, smoky notes, tobacco, and chocolate. The mouth on this full bodied wine is mouth coating, concentrated, and layered, with now nicely integrated tannin, blackberry, dark cherry, cassis, licorice, graphite, crushed herbs, ripe plum, and tobacco. The mid palate is balanced with acid, sweet cedar, tobacco, chocolate, blackberry, licorice, spices, herbs, and graphite. The finish is super long and spicy, with rich tobacco, chocolate, sweet cedar, blackberry, cassis, plum, dark cherry, black pepper, spices, graphite, herbs, and vanilla.
2010 Teal Lake Moscato D’Aussie – Score: B to B+
The nose on this gold colored wine is super bright and ripe with gooseberry, pear, bright cirrus, lychee, light honey, some straw, floral notes, melon, lemon, and peach. The mouth on this medium bodied wine has medium sweetness, light fizz, gooseberry, honey, pear, lemon, peach,. and melon. The mid palate balances the sweetness with rich acid, straw, lemon brightness, and peach, and pear. The finish is long and sweet with pear, peach, gooseberry, more bright citrus, melon, and floral notes.
N.V. Elvi Wines Adar Brut Cava – Score: B+
The nose on this lemon colored wine is toasty, with bright lemon, green apple, light cloves, grapefruit, peach, and straw. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice with a mousse of small to medium sized bubbles, lovely apple, bright lemon, peach and straw. The mid palate is super bright with bracing acidity, tart green apple, and toast. The finish is long and toasty with lemon, apple, peach, straw, and grapefruit.