Saturday, December 15, 2018

Falling for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Autumn is now giving way to winter in the majority of the northern Hemisphere, with some localities having already seen snowstorms! After surviving a record-breaking Snowmageddon in early October, our area has by and large enjoyed a comfortable fall season.

It is right around this time that a good chunk of winelovers everywhere, myself included, start to focus their palates on red wines again. In the past, I've gravitated towards Italian Reds and Spanish Riojas. This year, I decided to focus on the Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley; specifically, the 2014 and 2015 vintages.

Although Napa Valley can trace their winegrowing history as far back as the late 1600s, it wasn't until the 1960s, when an abundance of vines were planted in the valley, that winemaking really surged. After the successful wins in the Judgement of Paris in 1976, the region became highly regarded and esteemed as one of the top wine regions in the world. Bordeaux varietals rule the valleys and surrounding mountain slopes, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc white wines crafted here as well. Bottle prices tend to soar here due to the high cost of land and grapes, the prestige of the region, and with extensive care taken in the winemaking process to ensure the highest quality wines. 



1. Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014
Although this beauty is composed primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 10% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec joined in the fun. This created a big, bold, well-structured wine abundant with flavours of dried currants, blueberries and a hint of smoke towards the long, lively finish. Bright acidity and supple tannins make this wine approachable now, with the potential of aging another 5-7 years, at minimum. Pair this with your next ribeye or baseball steak!



2. St. Supery's 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon boasts muscular but focused tannins, and powerful acidity that smooths out during the long, bright finish. I found lots of red fruit flavours here: red currants and cranberries, changing to red licorice and charred oak notes mid-palate. This Cabernet Sauvignon is very approachable on its own but would also pair well with a variety of foods like charcuterie, cheese, and barbecue.



3. Hess Collection's "Allomi" Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 shows a beautiful, deep purple colour in the glass. The mouthfeel is very smooth and lush, with notes of black currant and vanilla hints wrapped around velvet tannins. This was my personal favourite of the tasting, and was very much enjoyed by my "wine tasting squad"as well!

One final Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that is worth trying, is Freemark Abbey. I tasted their 2011 vintage last year, and it also blew me away! Tasting notes here.

Any of these beauties are worth the splurge and would be a wonderful addition to your Christmas table, whether you pair it with prime cuts of beef, a charcuterie and cheese platter, or enjoy them on their own in front of a roaring fire. After all, everyone deserves to treat themselves over the holiday season!

This will be the last post of 2018 for me. Thank you to all who take the time to read and share my posts; it means a lot to me. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours, from "me and mine"!







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