This Sonoma gem pours very dark, brooding and inky in the glass. The palate is somewhat of a surprise- it’s chock full of plum, black berry and chocolate powder. I also get a whiff of the 14.5% alcohol. On the palate it is delicious, tannic, and interesting. Black iodine, plum jam and blackberry compote all hit me. The wine has a nice dose of tannins that carry through all the way to the finish, not overly dry but present nonetheless. The mid palate mellows out some from the big burst of fruity goodness. The tannins are more evident on the gums at this stage and my mouth is starting to pucker. The finish has dusty mocha, more of that Iodine and obviously those dark fruits. It could use a touch more acidity but I really am enjoying it for it’s youthful exuberance and unabashed tannic structure. Good use of oak adds to the flavor of this wine and the alcohol that I was concerned about did not materialize. It will cellar nicely for a few years and pair well with grilled steaks, Osso Bucco or a hearty Venison stew. Drink till 2026. 91 points my friends and 5 stars for this $20 Cali Cab. Salut….
From Sonoma, a Cabernet I have heard of but never tried. Purply and dark in the glass it shows promise of power and extraction. On the nose I get cassis, blackberry, ripe oak and a funk I hate to think might be cork taint. The wine itself tastes a little off. I get blackberry essence, ink, crunchy tannins and a hit of toasty oak. The mid palate has a really defined tannic dryness that I am enjoying. More black fruits come around for the finish as well as some espresso, cocoa powder and the omnipresent tannins. They really are persistent. Overall I think this wine has good potential and will cellar well, my only concern is with this particular bottle. I have been lucky not to have many corked bottles over the years, but it happens every once in a while. Technically speaking this one is an 86 point wine but has the potential to rise to 91 if it were not faulty. A shame really for this $43 effort. I’ll go with 4 stars as a compromise. Think steaks, au gratin and creamed spinach for a pairing. Salut….
Dark purple, but not as ‘heavy’ as I was expecting. A nose of black currant and blackberry with hints of vanilla. On the palate- really soft and supple profile that offers up delicious black fruit sorbet, juicy acidity and very fine grained tannins. This wine makes my mouth water, it’s bizarre. I am really enjoying it! The mid palate is more down to earth with plain Jane blackberry and some oak. The finish gets ramped up with the tannins that linger for a long time while more dark fruits emerge. This is a tasty little number that begs for Osso Bucco, eggplant parm or even a hearty stew. 91 points from me and drink till 2022. All yours for $12 which makes this a 5 star wine. Salut….
From Sonoma comes this delicious Cabernet Sauvignon that got great reviews. I was excited to try it when I saw the bottle and was not disappointed.
Dark purple in the glass with a nose of red berries, a touch of oak and some cinnamon. On the palate, red fruits, bright acidity and some cola. On the mid palate , a hint of sasparilla, some eucalyptus and the ever present sharpness of the acidity, now with some offsetting tannins. The finish is decent in length and gives off strawberry notes with vanilla overtones. Overall a nice wine for the short to medium term. 89 points and for $18 it should be on your radar. 4 stars. Salut….
I was recently in an airport lounge and saw this wine being offered. I am a fan of the winery since our visit there in 2015. If you are ever in the area and want to enjoy a nice tasting, fun staff and cool dog I suggest you visit Alexander Valley Vineyards.
Nice rich purple in the glass with a nose of eucalyptus and plum jam -maybe blackberry reduction. The initial taste is super smooth. I mean seriously smooth, with blackberry, nutmeg and tobacco flavors. This wine has a seamless transition from front to back. Amazing and extremely balanced. I’m loving it. 92 points, which is high but this wine is drinking on pointe and deserves credit for its immediate satisfaction. It may cellar for another 3-5 years but why wait? I found it online for $15, but MSRP is around $22. They blended a touch of my favorites in for color, aroma and balance. Merlot at 6%, with a touch of Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. For sure a 5 star wine, stock up and serve alone or with pretty much all the classic red wine pairings. Salut….
One of my friends brought this bottle to the party so I have no idea the price or where to get it. My first impressions were good with a nice color to the glass and blueberries on the nose with some vanilla. Spice box and cedar with blue fruits and plums came across on the palate which was coated in mellow tannins and sweet oak. Decent acidity brought the whole package together for me until the back end heat showed up. I missed the actual percentage, but it was not well integrated, which cost it a point or two. We ate appetizers of shrimp and crab cakes, hardly the best pairing but we enjoyed the whole ambiance of the moment. I would prefer a leg of lamb, perhaps even a grilled pork chop to go with this particular bottle. 89 points and potentially a three star wine if it goes for the $25 price I imagine it to be. Salut….
Napa Cabernet is to me big, bold and beautiful. Sonoma is more refined, less in your face and more about finesse. Both are delicious, both have a time and a place. I often think that Napa is synonymous with Cab and Sonoma is relegated to Pinot. I wonder what gives me those thoughts…..
This wine was good, smooth and silky. It showed up as a lighter shade of purple in the glass and had a nice bouquet of dark fruits and jam. On the palate I noted rich plums and berry compote. Good acidity and fine-grained tannins were also noted and the wine had a good length to it. It packed an unnoticeable 14.4% alcohol and did not show any heat whatsoever, a deft hand in the cellar. Later on I got dried figs and blue berry on the finish which was really delicious. We served this up at a birthday dinner with some grilled meats and Chorizo sausage. It was a perfect match and I would highly recommend it. 90 points from me and 4 stars for this $44 effort. It could use some short term cellaring, but is drinking nicely and will do so for another 5 years minimum. Salut….
When searching for the right wine to go with Steak Au Poivre last night, I asked my guest ‘Johnny’ what types of wine he liked. He panned Syrah, liked Pinot and was open to Cabernet. He loves Pinotage as he comes from Afrika Suid after all. So, off I went on a mission to find the right bottle.
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon hails from Sonoma County, the Alexander Valley to be more precise- which is located in the northeast corner of the county. Fully mature now it offers up dark plums, some herbs and a dose of pencil out of the inky glass. On the palate, more dark fruit, but intertwined with leather, maduro tobacco and some eucalyptus. The wine is still somewhat dry with tannins in the finish but they were delicious. The texture of the wine was great with the steaks and peppercorn sauce.
This wine got trashed by WS, an 82 point rating on release was a big shocker for this iconic steakhouse wine. I think they got it wrong that time. I am going with 91 points and 4 stars for this $75 treat. I think it epitomizes higher end California Cabernet with its balance of New World fruit and Old World depth and complexity. Salut….
At 6 years of age, this blend of Napa and Sonoma Cab Sav is still young. Grippy tannins are prominent yet unobtrusive and meld nicely. On the nose, dark, brooding berry fruits. On the palate, chocolate and plum that finish nicely with the caressing tannins. Good balance and acidity make this a really good bottle, coupled with the decent price makes this a 4 star wine. I would give it 90 points and serve it up with some New York Strips on the charcoal. Really yummy.