The Redwood Creek range of wines from Californian is being marketed, to some extent, to those who are ‘rugged’ and outdoorsy, a little odd given that some of the principal stockists are bigger supermarket chains, Asda, Morrison’s, Tesco and Sainsbury’s. So as non-outdoorsy people, OK neither are we rugged, we decided to try some of these fruity Californian wines and let you know if this was a pre-requisite to enjoying them, or whether they’re wines that would be suitable to grace any table.
All four of the wines we found were 2009 vintage and are available widely in most major supermarkets at an RRP of £7.39.
The Pinot Noir is a lovely, very inviting, crystal clear bright ruby red in the glass. As you breathe in its bouquet there are jammy red fruits, notably cherry and raspberry. Washing it around the mouth cherry comes through well on the palate, as do some strawberry and raspberry notes. This is a fresh, fruity light wine with some slight acidity and light tannins in its length where you find blackcurrant and blackberry flavours developing on the tongue. It’s a wine you could drink on its own, but it would undoubtedly go well with lamb and other less intense meats, maybe even pork.
The Chardonnay has a pale straw/yellow colour in the glass giving the impression of sweetness and body. As you raise it to your nose you get that fairly typical heady Chardonnay aroma reminiscent of resin and some green fruits, particularly apple. On the palate this is a full medium bodied wine with a creamy texture, we got yellow fruits, mainly apricot, but there’s some peach and a hint of ripe banana. The wine has sweet flavour in the mouth, from its fruitiness and there’s a little tang on the edge of the tongue. There’s also some oakiness in its length. This is a wine that needs food, I found it rather too much to drink on its own. I would think that it would work well with a fish dish in a creamy sauce or with some lighter meats and perhaps because of its body even with roast pork. Reaslly, any dishes where its strength of character would hold up to the food.
The Merlot has a rich, intensely dark ruby colour in the glass and as you raise it to your nose acidic forest fruits come up to greet you with some blackcurrant and soft blackberry balancing it out. As you drink, letting the wine reach every part of the mouth, you get a big jammy fruity mouthful of fresh bright forest fruits, acidic blackcurrant comes through as well as soft blackberry. It’s a tangy juicy wine that gives that mouth-watering effect. It’s a medium bodied wine that has a nice feel in the mouth. The wine has light to medium tannins and it has a good length, in which you find just a slight hint of peppery heat. Having tasted the wine we tried it with some medium rare rib eye steak and the wine became more rounded, its tannins almost completely disappearing with the food. Definitely a wine that would support red meats.
The last of the four Redwood creek wines we tasted was the Cabernet Sauvignon, another deep, dark, red wine that has sharp acidic blackcurrant on the nose. As you take a drop in your mouth it’s a vibrantly full-on and deliciously fruity wine with tangy blackcurrant and blackberry coming through well. It has big character and there’s a slight smoky quality to it together with a hint of spicy heat. This is a good medium to fuller bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that had medium plus tannins, and nice length. We tasted this on the same evening as the merlot and with the steak the fruitiness in the wine developed and the tannins lessened considerably. This is a wine that would pair well with many fuller flavoured red meats including game.
So, do you have to be rugged and outdoorsy to enjoy the Redwood Creek wines? Well, of course the answer is no, but they are wines with some character that would stand up well to some bigger foods if you wished them to. Try one, or more. Grrrrr!
For more information about Redwood Creek wines go to www.redwoodcreek.com