The color is inky dark with maroon edges. The nose is lightly jammy blackcurrant with a background of vanilla and eucalyptus. The palate is more harsh than the nose. Blackcurrant leads, along with some vegetal tobacco leaf as well a higher tones of mint and eucalyptus. It does not show a lot of development from attack through mid-palate to finish, ending with some brown sugar and vanilla from wood. At this price point it is very competitive with California cabernets, showing a more deft hand with wood flavors than is usually seen in the under-$15 crowd, as well as some acid to keep it food-friendly. Drink with a skirt steak. For the price, Recommended. DH
A baby that shows every sign of being a great grownup when it fully matures. Deep purple with a seductive nose of blackcurrants, chocolate, and rosemary. Great gobs of blackberry fruit and pistachios on the palate, with balanced tannins. Finishes beautifully and languorously. This has not yet been released at the time of tasting (a barrel sample), and will require at least another 5-8 years of aging to reach its apogee. But when it does, it will be glorious. Very Highly Recommended. GT
This is a rather well made Napa Cabernet for the price point, not as crude or oaken as many and offering genuine layers of flavor and transitions from attach through finish. DH
The premise is simple: there are hundreds of wine varieties out there beyond the "big six" – also known as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling – yet most people never travel beyond a relatively narrow range.