Another two-fer

Vinum Cellars Chenin Vio '08 (left)
Country: USA
Region: California
Thoughts: Since I was buying for my wife, this seemed like a good option: right price point, recommended by Whole Foods (a Top 10 selection) and a blend of two of my wife's favorite varietals. A well-designed label helped too, since it wasn't kitschy like some of the others I've fallen for. What struck me about this was how, despite the preponderance of chenin in the blend, both grapes really seemed to come through. The nose was floral, almost approaching a pinot grigio. On the tongue, the taste seemed to go from dry initially to a middle sweetness to a dryer finish. That certainly scores high on the adventure scale, but I couldn't get over the fact that the taste seemed a little one-dimensional for my tastes. For all of its shape-shifting, there wasn't a whole lot else I could pick out. Still, a very serviceable drink.
Do-over? I'd have no problem with that
Ingredients: 80 percent chenin blanc, 20 percent viognier
Final Grade: B+

Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon '07 (right)
Country: USA
Region: California
Thoughts: Silly me, looking for another good-valued cab again. The price was decent enough, and their sauv had been decent enough. Plus they're big into organic farming, and I can't think of a good reason not to support that. At first glance, however, I was a little concerned with the vintage being so recent. So I don't know if the vintage had anything to do with it, but I didn't find it to be a rather unimpressive match with the porterhouse I had that night. The nose grabbed you with a powerful, slightly minty aroma. The taste was just about what you'd expect from a cab. But it failed to wow me; there wasn't anything terribly distinctive I can report back about the wine, other than being precisely what you'd expect. It was drinkable and I had no problem going back for a second glass, but it felt like there should've been more there than what was there.
Do-over? In a pinch, yes
Final Grade: C+

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