Did you see the moon Thursday night? When I walked out into what is finally feeling a little like Fall, it was there waiting for me. Big, golden and beautiful. It followed me home, shining its light to guide me. It was the perfect ending to a very lively winetasting theme we're pouring this weekend of Napa Cabernets Under $25. Red wine always brings out a crowd and the lineup didn't disappoint.
Cabernets are always a little intimidating because there is so much written and discussed about this "king of the grapes". Luckily, Tom Bender, our Wine Steward created a tasting that doesn't get too caught up in all that and focuses on discovering a cab that doesn't break the bank and finding a wine that we might really, really like.
This was the five wines we poured...
#1 Avalon 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $15.99
With grapes from the Atlas Peak and Rutherford AVA's, this was a nice, soft and drinkable cab.
#2 Ca' Momi 2012 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon $15.99
This 100% Cab is one of my favorites. It is smooth with cherry and spice flavors. Not exactly Cab-like, which is probably why I like it! We visited them in April and their wines are all really good. They have a restaurant called Enoteca that serves authentic Italian food and the handmade pizza is heaven.
#3 Educated Guess 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $17.99
This Cab is produced by Roots Run Deep Winery and pokes fun at the art vs. science process of winemaking. Their label is a very cool graphic of the actual chemical process of making wine. 88% Cab, 8% Merlot, 2% Cab Franc and 2% Petit Verdot and aged 12 months in French and American oak. This was probably the most polarizing wine on our tasting list...people either really liked it or not so much.
#4 Twenty Rows 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $19.99
Twenty Rows is a family owned and operated winery in Napa. This vintage consists of 90% Cab, 4% Petite Verdot, 4% Cab Franc and 2% Malbec. It has a nice oak nose to it with cherry, cedar (I think of eucalyptus) and overall good flavor.
#5 Hindsight Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $18.99
Hindsight is the result of three friends who were passionate about wine and winemaking that wanted to answer the questions of what makes Napa wines so good? And why are they so expensive? Their goal was to produce affordable, great wine. This wine smelled the most earthy and had hints of berry and spice. It was probably the least favorite of the folks on Thursday night.
Overall, my winetasters loved the lineup and gave it high praise. They lingered over their pours, with much discussion and laughter. There is not a bad wine on the list above. If you are looking for an approachable, affordable Cabernet to drink with dinner or on it's own, you could buy any of them. If you are looking for a "softer" Cab, I would recommend the first two.
I know one or two of the wines will be changed for today and tomorrow's tasting. Prices are sale prices for the weekend at O'Briens. Thank you Mark and Laura for your generous spirit and Happy Birthday Kim!