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The smell of victory… at a price. Invictus Reserve 2009

14 May

Invictus Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 

This delightful Napa Cab’s color is deep ruby blending towards purple. The nose reminds me of the bottle,  deep black fruit with a tinge of earth and hint of funk. Overall, the nose reminds me of Cos D’Estournel ’86: high praise indeed! But they don’t make wine just for the nose…

On the palate: the black fruit dominates. My taste buds experienced ripe black plum, juicy blackberry, some tart cassis, a bit of caramel, granite and charcoal with a grippy finish from strong tannins. The finish moved from back to the front of my palate,  which felt backward but was delicious. I enjoyed this wine, even with it’s high 15% alcohol content.

Normally, at this point I’d succinctly post my thoughts about the wine, suggest what it might pair well with, then move on.  But Invictus Reserve 2009 has put me back a bit, and I held off my review for a week while I pondered this post. Do I like the wine? Yes. Does it pair well? Sure, with red meat, powerful flavors, even with a piece of buttered bread, this  is a big, bold glass of Napa-ness. Here’s my problem: I found this at one of my premiere wine stores at $55/bottle. Yikes. Really? Yes, it’s pricey, which makes it a great gift wine, or a special occasion wine. Admittedly, I might have opened this too young and it could be all my own fault. Yet after being promised it was perfect to open right now and then “it drinks like a $75 bottle” I was let down. I feel it is overpriced, drinking like a $35 bottle.  While a tasty, enjoyable wine, for my money and at this age, the Invictus Reserve left me wanting for depth, finesse and ultimately, value.

For less money I’d suggest you try the Modus Operandi wines (which you might have to order direct from the vineyard and can take ten days to get) which IMO is worth every penny and  stunning in taste, mouthfeel and overall experience.

That tiny tinge of value regret is what kept me from publishing this review for a week.

•It’s not a great value. In spite of that, the Invictus Reserve is delicious, if over-priced.

•There is a standard Invictus Cab Sauv for significantly less, FYI. It may not be the amazing blend of Napa grapes the Reserve is, but it will go a lot more easily on your wallet.

•To play my own devil’s advocate, at a restaurant where everything is overpriced, this wine might be ideal as something you can trust to match several entrees and pair well, with great response from your guests…and a small tinge of pain on your credit card.

Á votre santé!

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