2008 Forefront Cabernet Sauvignon
$24, 14.1% abv
The vineyard makeup is 84% Napa, 9% San Luis Obispo, 7% Lake Counties, while the grape proportions are 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 5% Syrah, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc.
It has nice blackberry aromas and flavors, though not overly jammy or fruit forward. Peppery undertone with a touch of chocolate, medium tannins, and a long black cherry finish. It is a rich and easy drinking Cabernet. I paired it with a steak (briefly air-dried in the freezer) and assorted vegetables, where it performed admirably.
The next day it was time to sample the 2009 Forefront Pinot Noir (not pictured on its own).
51% Santa Barbara, 41% San Luis Obispo, 8% Monterey Counties, all Pinot Noir.
$24, 14.5% abv.
At cellar temperature, it's soft with overripe strawberry aromas and flavors, short finish. As it warms, it becomes more tart and the tannins are more prevalent. There's a touch of brambles about it, but it's not heavy and provides a nice herbal undertone. I served it with grilled lamb.
I chose to serve the two white wines together with some seafood: fried grouper and stuffed quahog clams.
2009 Forefront Sauvignon Blanc
50% Sonoma, 32% Napa, 18% Mendocino, pure Sauvignon Blanc
$16, 13.5% abv
Tart with touches of grass and grapefruit, similar to a New Zealand style but not as acidic. Crisp and refreshing, and best at colder temperatures. Excellent match for the seafood, and better than hitting everything with a squeeze of lemon.
2009 Forefront Pinot Gris
Willamette Valley, Oregon
95% Pinot Gris, 5% Gewürztraminer
$16, 14.1% abv
I think this was my favorite out of all four wines. Smooth and well balanced, with a little green apple aroma and floral elements. Nice minerality and a short, clean finish. Great blend of round and tart, dry but just a hint of honey sweetness in the back. It was a lovely contemplative wine to enjoy both during and after dinner.
Note: These wines were received as samples from Forefront.