Note: The Big Dubya was supposed to write this review, but he's got a head cold and just confessed that, despite being halfway through his glass, he still can't taste it..... so you are stuck with me.
Once again, we went to the ye ole wine rack for this bottle. According to www.wine.com it runs for about $19.99 -- I must have gotten it on sale, because I know I didn't pay that much for it.
I chose this label because when I was in Vegas a couple of years ago, my cousin recommended it. He's become somewhat of a wine snob in the past few years and he mentioned that Sterling was a wine that you could count on -- good value for short money. Generally speaking he knows what he's talking about -- particularly when it comes to wine, so I took his recommendation and picked up this bottle.
The label didn't offer a whole lot of information -- but the winemakers notes listed on www.wine.com are as follows:
"Deep ruby red, color, with big blackberry and blackberry pie aromas, as well as toasty oak and vanilla. Complex, with more subtle cherry-cola notes. On the palate are mouth filling cherry-berry tannins, which are round yet offer nice mouth feel and a long finish. Drink this with beef dishes and other entrees with richer sauces".
This wine has a deep flavor and the oakiness of it is evident. I don't get a lot of blackberry flavor, just a hint. The description (blackberry pie, cherry-cola) would have made me expect a sweetness, but on the contrary..... it's got a tartiness to it -- an edge. The tannins caught me a little off guard as the first sip was smooth and it wasn't 'til the end that I got that subtle hit lingering at the back of my throat.
I started my glass and set it aside while I put the kids to bed and I definitely found it to be smoother and more mellow when I came back -- I'm thinking that this is a wine that benefits from a little time to breathe.
Bottom line.... if it were on sale, I'd buy it again.