"Wine is water come of age." - Father Capon

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Kiona Cabernet/Merlot 2004

This is was great find. Every once in a while the great ten dollar wine hunt turns up a gem. The folks at Kiona say that in crafting their Cabernet/Merlot they "wanted to make this the best Tuesday-night wine in Washington: easy to drink, goes well with everything, won’t break the bank, and not boring." Well, S and I agree that they've done that in spades. This wine is anything but boring. The first thing you notice when you pour it into your glass is its color: it's got a beautiful copper tinge to it, showing that its got some age. There is definitely spicy notes of oak on the nose mixed with red fruit. And here's the amazing thing: this wine ages in oak for 36 months! At first I was worried that this was going to be too oaky, like the 2003 that I had tried previously. But on the palate the 2004 is much more restrained, the oak is there but it is balanced by lovely tart cherries and tobacco. Given a little air time, the wine becomes even more integrated. It is far more complex than most wines in 10.00 price range. My wife was really seduced by this wine, especially its tartness/dryness (almost like a barolo) . The tannins were nicely integrated and the fruit comes across with an attractive restraint giving it the feeling of refinement rather than power. It was even more enjoyable with savory food which highlighted the flavors of red stone fruit. The blend is interesting too: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 2% Syrah, 1% Sangiovese. If you are looking for a wine with complexity, food friendliness, and maturity built in, and all for under 10 bones, then seek this out (folks in our neck of the woods can find this for 8.00 at Winco). We loved it and will definitely buy more.  You can find the Kiona page (complete with a video from the One-eyed wine guy) here. 

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