Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Flavour Fist (Road 13 Cabernet Sauvignon)

Sometimes a wine will actively discourage you from drinking it, but don't relent wine is made to be drunk.  As I write this my face and body, to a certain extent, are flushing.  It's not the first time my face has flushed from drinking wine, but it is the quickest and most powerful flushing I have ever experienced from a wine. Flushing is not uncommon when imbibing red wine.

From a little bit a research it would seem that red wine has small amounts of histamines.  Histamines can cause allergic reactions.  The histamines in red wine are believed to come from malolactic fermentation.  Malolactic fermentation transforms malic acid, a very strong acid, into lactic acid, a much softer acid, this can also lend a buttery characteristic to wine.  However it is somewhat uncommon for their to be a buttery flavour in a red wine even though almost every single red wine goes through malolactic fermentation.  

My theory is that the cabernet sauvignon grapes that went into making this wine were particularily acidic due to their cool climate habitat (British Colombia).  With tons of malic acid to turn into lactic acid a bunch of histamines were produced.  This is just a theory.  But given my strange reaction and the obvious taste and smell of butter I think there is a good chance this theory is right.  If you are curious about the wine with such power that it can effect the blood flow to my face read on.

Producer: Road 13
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Okanagan, BC, Canada
Grapes: 87% cabernet sauvignon, 13% cabernet franc
Vintage: 2007
Price: $26

Notes: This wine is over-the-top big.  14.1% alcohol, tons of fruit flavour and oak flavour.  It breaks down as such: full body, aromas of oak, smoke, raspberry, butter, basil.  Flavours of raspberry, jammy, vanilla, butter, oak, eucalyptus.  I'm on the fence about this wine, while it has a lot of power it lacks subtly. It is nice to drink, it's also like being punched in the face with a flavour fist.  Its Nice! if you like huge wines you will love this wine.

This is not what you would call a food wine.  The flavours are so intense they will most likely overshadow the food you are eating.  While the fruity and vegetal flavours could go well with food the intense oakiness is unlikely to lend itself to any dish.  I tried this wine with olive and onion pizza, at first the flavours go nicely but then oak smacks your tongue destroying any other flavours.  Unless you're a beaver drink this one by itself.

If and when this posting starts to trail off you'll know my throat has swollen from the histamines and I've gone into full on anaphylactic shock, good bye cruel world...

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