John Brown has been a wine and food columnist in West Virginia since the 1980’s. His regular columns appear in the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail under the title Vines & Vittles and in The State Journal - a statewide business weekly

And the winner is…..

Last week I discussed a recent blind tasting I conducted where tasters were asked to evaluate six cabernet sauvignons (or cabernet blends). I suggested that you might wish to sip a few of the wines and judge for yourself before I revealed how our group viewed the order of preference.

So far the only feedback I've gotten has come from a few disgruntled wine lovers who have taken me to task for not letting you know which wines were judged best.

Okay, okay, I get the message. Here are the results along with the country of origin and the retail price:

1. 2006 Marques Casa Concha (Chile $19)

2. 2003 Falcor Le Bijou (Napa Valley $32)

3. 2007 El Portillo Cabernet Sauvignon (Argentina $14)

4. 2006 Larose De Gruaud (Bordeaux, France $35)

5. 2007 Guenoc Victorian Claret (California $15)

6. 2007 McWilliams Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia $11)

As I mentioned, all of the wines were enjoyable with none eliciting serious criticisms. In fact, wines four, five and six were pretty much in a dead heat. My own evaluations tracked right along with the group except my number one choice was Le Bijou and second was the Casa Concha. Le Bijou and the Guenoc Claret were wines which had various other tradlitional Bordeaux blending grapes such as merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot.

I generally prefer the cabernet blends to 100 percent cabernet since they seem to have more layers of flavor and are less "in your face" than full throttle cabernet sauvignon. I must admit, however, that the Marques Casa Concha is an excellent wine and will continue to improve with a few years of bottle age.

Tuscan Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Tasting Cabernet Blind!

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