One of the things that I always tell my students (or anyone else, for that matter) is never to judge wine before you've tasted it. There might be many reasons to be skeptical -- price, alcohol content, the grapes it's made with, producer -- but none of that matters until you take the first sip.
So what did I do when I received samples of BV's Century Cellars line? Stuck it in the back of the wine closet, figuring it couldn't be any good because it only cost $6 a bottle.
Shows how much I know.
This is well-made wine, and I would buy it. Obviously, it's not white Burgundy, red Bordeaux or Napa cabernet. But it's better than most $6 wine that I have tasted, and it more than offers value for money.
- The chardonnay had decent fruit and varietal character without much cheap wine taste. It was a very pleasant surprise.
- The merlot was more inoffensive than good. Still, given that most California merlot at this price tastes like blueberry jam served on a baseball bat, this is not damning with faint praise.
- The cabernet was as well made as the chardonnay, with amazingly mild tannins. Ordinarily, tannins on wine at this price are so harsh they linger in the mouth well past the first sip.
I'll taste through it again at the end of the year, because it's a candidate for the $10 Hall of Fame.