Recently Gabriele and I traveled down to St. Augustine Florida for a week off. We’ve done this the past four years, and while there we like to try out new restaurants and new wines.
We tend to like California Bordeaux blends, which can be safer and more economical bets than French wines. This year we were introduced to two excellent new ones while having fine meals at Cellar6 and Caps on the Water.
Caps on the Water has a large and varied wine list, recognized by a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. It’s an incredibly rare find outside of a major metropolitan area, and especially surprising from a restaurant with a relaxed vibe located at the end of a dead end residential street. The Bordeaux blend we chose was the Pahlmeyer Jayson 2008.
The Jayson is a blend led by Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and a little Malbec as well. The nose was fresh and fruity. The lead fruit was definitely currant for us, with some oakiness as well. There was a spiciness to the wine from the Cabernet Franc that we both often don’t like, but it’s well integrated in this wine. It was an excellent wine and also carried the very fair restaurant price of $61, well short of the usual double or more retail.
The second Bordeaux blend was the Charles Krug 2009 Generations we enjoyed at Cellar6 in the heart of Old St. Augustine. Cabernet Sauvignon led again, along with 10% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc. Both Gabriele and I agreed this was a delicious wine, but we tasted it differently.
Gabriele thought the wine was bigger than I did. By the standards of a Napa Meritage, I didn’t think the wine was especially big. I actually thought it a bit subtle, again considering it’s from California. We both liked the blackberry fruit, and a very dry finish with a bit of pepper spice and mocha. Cellar6 doesn’t have a big wine list but takes wine seriously and also offers good value. The Krug was listed for $75 but we got it for $65 due to a week night special.
I don’t think you can go wrong with either of these California Bordeaux blends. And if you ever visit St. Augustine, you can’t go wrong with either of these restaurants either.
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