Solid Ground Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (Chuck’s Take)

At a Glance
Overall blackberry, oak, blueberry, dark cherry
Notes lush, juicy, ripe dark berry. Perfect amount of oak and didn’t bring too much vanilla to the wine. An overall excellent benchmark value California cabernet sauvignon.

 

 

But what did Sean think?

Sweetness extra dry – 6 g/L
Food pizza
Price $17.95
LCBO# 13305
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H3 Horse Haven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

At a Glance
Overall Deep inky purple, cherries, blueberries, vanilla, cassis
Notes When I see Washington and Oregon wines I will grab one. A typical cab that hits all the right notes. The alcohol is high and hits your nose right away. Smooth and easy to drink. Crowd pleaser for sure.
Sweetness dry – 9 g/L
Food meaty pastas, carbonara, meat pie
Price $19.95
Online LCBO: 210047

Columbia Crest

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Solid Ground Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (Sean’s Take)

At a Glance
Overall raspberry, black cheery, ripe blueberries, rhubarb pie
Notes GOOD DEAL ALERT!!! Loads of black cherry and overflowing with blueberry. Silky, aromatic, deep garnet in color. This is a steal of a deal under $20. We bought a few for future enjoyment.

 

But what did Chuck think?

Sweetness extra dry – 6 g/L
Food slow braised meats and stews
Price $17.95
LCBO# 13305
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Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

At a Glance
Overall ripe plum, medium-light oak, dark berries, light vanilla
Notes rich, smooth and juicy.  low-medium tannins.  light on structure but very flavourful and easy going in the california way.  this is a very popular wine and the fruit is sourced from 3 counties.
Sweetness extra dry – 5 g/L
Price $19.95
LCBO# 461053
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Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot 2015

Extra dry especially for an American merlot. It’s from Washington but in a blind tasting you may think it’s a Bordeaux (left bank-ish).  The finish is slightly rough but smooths out with time.  Medium-firm tannins.
I bought this in the vintages section as a final sale for $17 but the original price was $21.95. It’s a decent value at the price point I paid.
At a Glance
Taste chocolate, raspberry, oak
Smell black cherry, plum, oak
Food salmon
Sweetness extra dry
Price $17.00
LCBO# 486936
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Bandit Pinot Grigio

 
 
At a Glance
Taste lemon, peach, apple
Smell lemon, green apple, citrus
Food american
Sweetness off dry
Price $14.00
LCBO#  622019
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Ironstone Merlot 2013

Extra dry, slight alcohol notes on the finish, slightly off balance
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, light cedar, smoke
Smell blackberry, dark cherry, alcohol
Food american
Sweetness extra dry
Price $17.25
LCBO#
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Oak Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth and easy drinking.  Has some structure, slightly more than it price range peers.  Found at the wine rack store. 
Juice from California and Canada.  Alcohol/Vol 13%
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, spice, cherry
Smell blueberry, blackberry, spice
Food american
Sweetness off dry
Price $12.00
LCBO# n/a
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Ironstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

If you’re looking for a cab which is less fruit forward and more leathery/tobacco-like, this is a good choice.  Not overpowering but present with good blackberry character to round things out.
One site (lcbo) reports that there is some merlot blended into this vintage.
Alcohol/Vol: 13.0%
At a Glance
Taste blackberry, leather, tobacco
Smell blackberry, vanilla, leather
Food red meat, bbq
Sweetness dry
Price $18.95
LCBO# 537597
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Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

Whenever I see Ironstone in the vintages section I always pick-up a bottle and yet again I was not disappointed. This zin is a full bodied, lush fruit forward drinker with a great mouth-feel.
Released: May 10, 2014
Alcohol/Vol: 14.5%
At a Glance
Taste boysenberry, blackberry, oak
Smell blackberry, cassis, vanilla
Food red meat
Sweetness dry
Price $17.00
LCBO# 951889
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Barefoot Merlot

I’ve had better bottles from Barefoot.  This one is a pretty simple medium bodied off dry weekday merlot.  Give their Shiraz a go.
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste cherry, vanilla, chocolate
Smell dark berry, cherry, raspberry
Food bbq lunch
Sweetness off dry
Price $9.95
LCBO# 53991
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Howling Moon Zinfandel 2009

Vintages Release Date: Nov 24, 2012
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste dark cherry, oak, vanilla
Smell blackberry, cherry, spice
Food beef, asiago
Sweetness dry
Price $18.95
LCBO# 57356
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Red Rock Malbec Reserve 2010

While typically not a fan of malbecs, this one is quite good. I liked the fruit forward characteristics of it – which aren’t seen in malbecs from places like South America, making this bottle…very…Californian.
I disagree with the LCBO’s sweetness descriptor of Extra Dry. Dry it is, Extra it is not.
Tip: tulip glass
At a Glance
Taste mulberry, oak, cherry
Smell mulberry, currant, oak
Food beef, asiago
Sweetness dry
Price $16.95
LCBO# 284315
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