Covenant Red C Sauvignon Blanc, O’Dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc, and Gilgal Cabernet Sauvignon
This past weekend we were out of town partying with family, so I swung by the semi-local wine store and picked up some bottles. The store is called the Vineyard in the Westgate plaza in Lakewood. I MUST be honest, many years ago I swore I would never return to Lakewood, it is just to right wing for me. That said, it was the closest place with the best selection so I bought some bottles. The prices were average, not as low as kosherwine.com or skyviewine.com, but OK. The man at the register was very nice to give me a discount and when I asked which wines were on sale, he was more than happy to point them out, which allowed me to keep within a budget and get some good wines. Overall a fine experience, and if you live in the Lakewood area, from what I know it is either the Vineyard or Wine on the 9, in Howell NJ.
I was truly excited to taste these two Sauvignon Blanc wines side by side! There has been much talk of them on the wine forum, and I wanted to make my own decision. I truly enjoyed them both, the 2010 O’Dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc and the Covenant Red C Sauvignon Blanc. When we opened them in the evening, the clear winner was the O”Dwyers, it was far more expressive with tart fruit and crazy acidity, all balanced with nice mineral and a solid body. Still, the Covenant was lurking and when it finally got over its oak haze, it was the ultimate clear winner. Funny thing was that to me if you wanted a nice Sauvignon Blanc, you either went with a Ella Valley or an Hagafen, and maybe a Goose Bay, when young. Now, I would go with either of these any day of the week!
The ONLY con I can say about the Covenant Sauvignon Blanc is the packaging – or maybe the lack of one. It almost feels like they had no idea how to label it, so they threw on their Red C label and that was that. There is no mention of the varietal or winery on the front label, all you see is a big red C. The back label has
The third wine was a true and utter disaster. Sorry, I normally like Yarden wines, but this Gilgal, which is another name for the old Gamla series, before Royal claimed that label for themselves, in the US. The wine was far too sweet with over ripe fruit and in your face raisin and date. It had a nice body and rich fruit, but the lack of clean fruit meant it was way off balance for my taste.
The wine notes follow below:
2010 O’Dwyers Creek Sauvignon Blanc – Score: B++ to A-
The nose on this dark straw colored wine screams from the time you open till you finish it of ripe grapefruit, tart lemon, mowed grass, kiwi, and lychee. Still the grapefruit and the lemon are the clear stars in the show. On the palate of this medium bodied wine the lemon and grapefruit follows with crazy bracing acidity that is perfectly balanced with the kiwi and mowed grass. The grapefruit and lemon rise long and tartly on the finish to a point of feeling you just swallowed a chunk of citrus, along with a hint of mineral. After time the wine does develop a somewhat floral and honeyed flavor, but does not detract from the tart and ripe fruit. The wine’s power is its lovely acidity, perfect balance, sufficient body, and ripeness that you cannot help but put a smile on your face.
2010 Covenant Red C Sauvignon Blanc – Score: A-
The nose on this straw colored wine is slow to come out from behind the veil of oak, over time the wine shows its true colors of controlled rounding oak, straw, slate, grapefruit, lychee, and lemon. The mouth of this medium plus bodied wine starts off slow as well, but opens to reveal a lovely tartness from the lemon and grapefruit, followed by slate and spice. Spice, lemon zest, and grapefruit rise on the finish with a touch of the oak and straw. The overall wine sensation is not nearly as acidic as the O’Dwyers, but it is controlled beautifully with the rounding oak, bright fruit, and mineral, straw, and slate, that bring a focus to the wine that the O’Dwyers cannot match.
2007 Gilgal Cabernet Sauvignon – Score: B to B+
This wine is a bit too overripe without the requisite body and stuffing for my taste. The nose on this dark purple colored is filled with sweet cedar, blackberry, blackcurrant, black cherry, crushed herbs, graphite, high alcohol, and vanilla. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine is still rich with nice tannin and balanced with enough acidity, sweet cedar, and herbs to keep your attention. The finish is long and spicy with graphite, alcohol, sweet cedar, black cherry, and blackberry rising at the end. This is a lovely wine but one that has very ripe fruit without the rest of the package to keep the wine balanced and not overly sweet and ripe.