Give Me Liberty or Give Me a Break! 10/20/11
As some of you may know, I recently achieved a delicious milestone in my wine blogging career and began receiving press samples for review purposes. And those of you who read my last post, written in honor of (but for whatever reason, not submitted to) Regional Wine Week, know that I live in Pennsylvania, whose government forbids its residents from receiving wine from other states.
What, pray tell, is a burgeoning blogger to do under such unfavorable conditions? I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say I manage to acquire samples by…means, of some sort. And for the most part, this works just fine.
However, much like Batman, and our nation’s founding fathers, I suffer from an irrepressible sense of justice, and so when the Hope Family of Wine’s Liberty School 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon arrived at my domicile, I scoffed – not at the wine but the situation. To be sure, it was about as egregious as a situation can be: to obtain Liberty, I had to break the law.
So certainly, I knew that I was about to drink my most ironic Cab since the Irony Cabernet Sauvignon I reviewed waaaay back in January. And considering that wine does taste best when you drink it under the looming threat of a violent SWAT incursion, needless to say I was excited.
Available for around $12 according to the press release I received, but selling for $14 at the PA state store (though, curiously enough, on sale this month for $12), this one is definitely recession-friendly. In the glass it poured a deep, dark garnet, almost opaque, with lighter crimson coloring around the edges.
The nose gave off aromas of chocolate, blackberry and black cherry, along with some redcurrant (interesting in a Cab, which usually evokes impressions of blackcurrant). There was a little bit of heat from alcohol, but it somehow managed to ingratiate itself with the rest of the aromatics and make me think “incense” overall.
The palate was fairly consistent with the nose, with the same berry notes from above as well as a bit of peppery spice thrown into the mix. With a medium finish and medium body, this wasn’t quite as powerful as some Cabs I’ve tried in the past, but it was nicely balanced with good acidity and spice to counter its fruit-forwardness – although the tannins were a little lean for my liking, and the alcohol a little strong. Still, at $12, this isn’t a bad buy.
I award the Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon a respectable thumbs up. As for the fact that I was technically not at liberty to receive it, I give that zero thumbs up, because there’s no wine quite as flawed as no wine at all.
Get it together, Pennsylvania.
This bottle was received courtesy of Hope Family Wines for review purposes. And no, they didn’t send it to me directly, in case you’re wondering.