The kind of wine you either love or hate – I loved it, and the person with whom I was drinking it disliked it. This is a big, muscular Napa Cabernet on steroids (14.8% alc.) that needs at least a couple of hours of breathing before it is safe to approach without your palate getting beat up. Intense nose of blackcurrant, menthol and dark chocolate. Seems overripe and jammy at first taste, but repeated tastings soften that view. Rich blackberry fruit that takes a bit of time to find past the tannins. Lengthy finish. Could benefit from aging. Definitely needs food, like a chargrilled ribeye. Both the wine and the steak have a crusty exterior masking rare flavors within. Highly recommended.

WHO: Kobalt
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon
WHERE: Napa Valley, California
WHEN: 2007
HOW MUCH: $88

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About The Author

Gary Thomas
Wine Review Editor

Gary Thomas is also a longtime professional journalist, and former senior correspondent at the Voice of America. He was the wine columnist for the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, TX, and has freelanced wine articles for other publications, including the Wine Spectator. He has spent much of his long journalistic career working overseas, managing to cadge needed wine in the hardiest of circumstances and unlikliest of locales, even in places like Pakistan and Iran.