Saturday, October 6, 2007

Bottle of Clos du Bois Disappoints

Last week, I had friends over for dinner and I opened a 2003 Clos du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon. It certainly wasn't cheap -- these days nothing that has "Cabernet" on the label from California is. The wine was not at all impressive. There was no finesse and not much in the way of tannins, a hallmark of most red wines.

It was a C+ wine, and C+ wines aren't supposed to cost what this wine cost.

Another reason why I vote "thumbs down" on Clos du Bois? The Sonoma County winery requires everyone who wants to enter their website to provide their birthdate so that the winemaker supposedly "knows" they are of legal drinking age. Of course, there is no way for Clos du Bois to know that anyone entering their site has typed in their accurate birthdate.

Welcome to the wine police.

Talk about overzealous. If you want to certify that someone purchasing wines is of legal age, fine; I understand. But just to visit your website and learn about your wines? That seems a bit much.

This approach may score points with some who are focused on underage drinking, but requiring this extra step of all web visitors seems silly and unnecessary. (As I mentioned earlier, it's far from foolproof.) I suspect that most underage drinkers are either finding someone of legal age to buy alcoholic beverages for them or are swiping alcohol from their parents' liquor cabinet.

At the prices Clos du Bois charges for bottles of wine, I find it hard to believe that there is a rush of 17- and 18-year-olds who are buying cases of Cabs online. If so, they should try Twenty Bench instead. Great wine at a fantastic price.

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