Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: North Coast, California – USA
Cost: $15 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Rich, aromatic dark fruits and baking spices delight the nose, yielding fresh plum and blackberry fruit, violet, dried fig, vanilla bean, and Chinese Five-Spice. The wine is layered with smoky and sappy maple wood, roasted almonds, and hazelnuts and finishes with fine, firm tannins.
My Review: So a few weeks back I talked about my thoughts on the Josh Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, how it wasn’t bad, but not what I looked for in a Sauvignon Blanc. I held off on opening the Cabernet for a bit, wanting to pair it with something hardy, hoping for something off the grill, but really wanting red meat either way. Beef stew turned out to be the option, and it also turned out to be a great pairing.
On the nose I picked up dark fruit, vanilla, and Chinese Five-Spice – anise has always jumped out at me as it reminds me of black licorice which I can’t stand. In the mouth the wine was pleasantly smooth, with the dark fruit flavors being joined by some smoke. I personally never got the almond and hazelnut notes that the winemaker did which is a shame – it could have been interesting.
Paired with our dinner of beef stew the wine was, quite simply, great. The flavors of the wine matched perfectly with the hearty nature of the meal, and it was nothing short of enjoyable. I appreciated the Cabernet, which I would say falls into the budget sub-$20 range, not being a fruit-bomb and showing enough complexity to match up to a stew that featured beef, carrots, potato, onion, green beans, and tomato.
That’s a lot to match.
For the price point it’s definitely a good value, as I’d easily price this wine closer to $20-$25 if asked blind. The flavors and aromas provide a wine with some character, but it’s still easy enough to sip on without having to think too much on it. Great for sharing with friends, a good option for any last minute cook outs you manage before we move too far into Fall, and definitely one worth checking out.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.