Kunde Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Today, we are “discussing” the wine instead of “doing” it, mostly to appease Clifford’s tender sensibilities, which have apparently been hella tenderized today. We drank this fine fellow with some giant pork chops, red chard sauteed with garlic, and a local California wild rice blend, garnished with Clifford’s homemade jalapeño jelly (which is to die for. Maybe the Hella Wine Hella Exclusive Beverage Club members will get some this year, because they probably need it). The chops were salt dry brined, which gave them some great depth and made the chops super meaty tasting, very savory.
The wine went with it really well; the variety of individual flavors in the wine gives you a lot to think about while you savor this combo. Each bite and each sip provides a plethora of distinct flavors to consider. Clifford suspected that American and Hungarian oak were used here, but I checked the winery’s website, and it’s all French oak, 60% new. Blackberry, blueberry, black raspberry, red flowers, tulip, a hint of sweet anise. Clove and mild, maybe green, peppercorn. The wine is a deep ruby, with a clear meniscus, opaque and medium plus body, with ripe light tannins. It has a long, tight finish full of bell pepper, banana skins, the beach… silica.
Christmas chocolates for dessert were a great match for the smooth mouthfeel and fuller body. Dark fruit and smooth tannins come out with the chocolate (Lindt dark chocolate balls – not salty, just to be clear). This is one of those wines that made us join this club last month (for shame! The depths of my lack of self-control know no bounds!), and we are looking forward to visiting again in February for our first hideously expensive private winery dinner. Kunde is also where most of Bottleshock was filmed, so I’m sure we’ll be taking some fun pictures on that trip. We got this for $48 on club discount, so it isn’t in the price range of an everyday wine, but it’s a hella great treat!90/100
The Hella 5 Star System
We have adopted the opinion that fine art, music, wine, cigars, and other comestibles are governed by a unifying principle, which is that the intention of the artist matters. Art can be judged by the patron only as it pertains to the emotive and inductive properties of that art. We think Winemakers and Torcedors are artists.
Here at Hella Wine, we cut our wine-rating teeth on the wildly popular wine app Vivino. Vivino has an integrated five-star system for rating wine, but no standardized rubric to go with it, so we had to define what the star ratings actually mean, and we did so in a very personal way. This system takes into account: price, aesthetics, situational variables, relationships, and any other completely biased information we can come up with. This makes our system predictably emotional, and ratings change from glass to glass, even possibly from the same bottle.
Without further ado, our 5 star rating system revealed
I wont drink/smoke this even if you buy it!
I would drink a glass of this or smoke 1 if you bought it, but I would not order this for myself.
I would buy a glass/one cigar and enjoy it.
I would buy a bottle/5pack of this and really enjoy it.
I'd buy a case/box of this because I just love it.
The Hella 50 to 100 System
We also will usually apply the commonly used 50-100 point scale to our ratings. This tasting format, familiar from the annals of the indelible Robert Parker and Wine Spectator Magazine, does not take price or my ability to afford the wine in question into account. The situation that the drink or cigar was tasted in does not matter. This scale only reflects the quality of the wine/cigar in relation to other wines/cigars we have tasted.
You may loosely infer from this rating:
96-100: A hella amazing wine/cigar of super bold complex character displaying the attributes we hella want to find in the best wines in the world. Wines like this are hella awesome.
90 - 95: An amazing wine/cigar with hella character. Wonderful stuff, we feel lucky to try these.
80 - 89: A hella good wine/cigar, no noticeable flaws but it's just good/okay.
70 - 79: Hella basic, not so memorable wine/cigar. It's good, but just missing that something that makes it hella good, or even special.
60 - 69: Something bad happened in this wine/cigars life. Maybe it got left in a car and cooked, or maybe it sucked to begin with. All we know is we hella don't really want to finish it. Sometimes you gotta take one for the team.
50 - 59: This wine/cigar hella sucks.