Last week, Heidelberg’s Rock n Roll twosome – good friends Wendy Rock and Margaret Roll – dropped in with a strange power-trio of wines from the World Series of Poker-themed California’s JAKQ Cellars, France’s Domaine Triennes and Australia’s Ass Kisser and Chocolate Box wines (and even wrapped things up with the Ass Kisser Double IPA):
JAKQ Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2008. Grade=Amazing. It’s funny that Wendy told me this is the one Heidelberg wasn’t bringing in because this was the best one of the lineup (I actually tasted this one last). Round and supple, this incredible white wine showed lemon chiffon, passionfruit, lemongrass, cilantro and guava notes. Well-balanced acidity but quite the anti-Kim Crawford style.
Rocland Ass Kisser Chardonnay South Australia 2009. Grade=Okay. Mediocre tropical fruit notes are one-dimensional in this okay Chardonnay.
JAKQ Cellars Chardonnay Her Majesty California 2007. Grade=Average. A tad old, there isn’t much freshness here; just a lot of glycerol-themed bees-wax and burnt apple cobbler. Would like to see what the current vintage tastes like.
Rocland Ass Kisser Red South Australia 2008. Grade=Average. Yeah, it’s a gimmicky label (those cheeky Aussies!) and this unintentional shout out to those invertebrate Democratics is an adequate raspberry jam-themed red with a slight hint of pepper and more Smuckers-induced notes on the finish.
Rocland Ass Kisser Shiraz South Australia 2008. Grade=Average. A decent Shiraz from Down Unda, but at this price ($10-$11) it kind-of misses the boat.
Domaine Triennes Saint-Auguste VDP 2007. Grade=Outstanding. A robust blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that shows off beautifully-layered notes of blackberry, black and red currant, cinnamon, cigar smoke, leather, graphite, olives and violets, velvety tannins and a medium-bodied finish.
JAKQ Cellars Merlot Bone Dance Napa Valley 2007. Grade=Above Average. A pretty big display for a Napa Merlot – and it better strut its ass off for $25 – this medium-to-full-bodied red has splashes of black fruit machismo yet is upstaged by big-busted oak slutted-up like a leather-clad dominatrix. (The safe word is Petrus.)
JAKQ Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 22 Black Napa Valley 2007. Grade=Above Average. On-target with its textbook Napa bravado, displays of concentrated black fruits, charcoal, cedar smoke and mint. I just want more for a $26 Cab.
JAKQ Cellars Merlot Black Clover Napa Valley 2007. Grade=Average. Overblown with far-more-oak-than-fruit, the blue and red berry notes play hide-n-seek with the palate, sort of the Vegas-era Elvis of the Merlot world. And fetch me a fried peanut butter-and-secanol sandwich, Colonel.
JAKQ Cellars Syrah Soldiers of Fortune Napa Valley 2007. Grade=Outstanding. Now we are getting somewhere. Yet we are above the $40 price point… a big, rich, dense Syrah with chunky red currant and black cherry notes, hints of white and black pepper, baking spices, rich earth and sassafrass. Very tasty!
JAKQ Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon High Roller Napa Valley 2007. Grade=Outstanding. We are playing in the Rat Pack echelon here,
with a luxurious five-star-suite of a Napa Cab, bold and velvety. Concentrated black berry fruits, spices, chocolate, espresso and cedar. Winner winner chicken dinner!
Rocland Chocolate Box Shiraz “Chocolate Box Dark” Barossa Valley 2007. Grade=Average. The new trend is chocolate-infused wines… my new f-ing Moscato! I must admit though, the chocolate here is subtle. Yet overall, for the price – $16 – it is a bit overpriced.
Rocland Chocolate Box GSM “Cherry Chocolate” Barossa Valley 2007. Grade=Average. See above. Ditto.
Rocland Ass Kisser Double IPA (brewed by Rahr & Sons Brewery, Texas). Grade=Outstanding. To resurrect my palate, the Rock n Roll girls poured me a taste of this delicious Double IPA from Rocland. Maybe I like it because many IPA’s to me come off too dry and salient. This one has a lot of caramel and honeyed malt notes.