Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon; Sangiovese
Region: California – USA
Cost: $13 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Robust aromas of black cherry, black peppercorn, and violet greet your nose. The layers of flavor that follow are nothing short of fantastic with hints of black fruit compote, clove, spice, and black currant. This full bodied wine is rich and robust with bold tannins that lead to a long and generous finish.
My Review: Handcraft falls into a weird area for me – they’re working within the area of budget wines, but the quality floats somewhere above and below the price point. Take the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, it is, at its essence, a generic California Cabernet that’s had a little Sangiovese thrown in to the mix to spice it up. But it manages to elevate itself ever so slightly above the herd.
The wine is, as you would expect, a dark color in the glass, and on the nose I picked up black cherry moreso than anything else. In the mouth the wine was fairly smooth, with a medium mody leaning towards the full side (though I wouldn’t call it full bodied personally), and fruit-forward notes of black currant with some spice and clove towards the finish.
It was, on the whole, fairly generic, though certainly not bad. I’d say it’s fair to say that it punches above its weight class, managing to justify the $13 you’ll spend on it, and not being outrageous if somebody was asking $15 to $16 for it, though I’d probably start to balk at around the $20 point.
Paired with a dinner that included homemade French Dip sandwhiches, it was a nice, easy companion to the meat and fries – nothing fancy, but a simple red wine to pair with a simple meal. Again, nothing spectacular, and it would be easy to lump it in with other budget reds you’ll find on the shelf – which many will, but for me at least, it managed to do just enough to make it enjoyable.
Now, I’m sitting here telling you this is some resplendant wine that you should run out and buy cases of now because it’s only going to get better with age and will be considered a steal in years to come. It’s very much something you’re supposed to drink now, enjoy it for what it is, and probably not remember or have dreams of. But, it does that admirably, and if you’re looking for that non-threatening red wine to enjoy at home or to take to a party where you may, admittedly, not even get a glass of it while socializing, you can do worse than this very approachable, very versatile, Cabernet from Handcraft.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.