Everything about this wine screams: CHEAP. Made-up name, bone-simple, crooked label, generic CC importer/producer LLC, sad capsule, no verbiage on rear label, suddenly appearing on the shelf at age four, AND Cab from one of the most expensive Cabernet AVA’s in California outside Napa. Get all that? And it IS cheap: well under 50 bucks full retail. Wine1%’ers have already figured out one or two guaranteed stories on this wine’s provenance, but those who struggle with winelists, study tech-sheets before tasting and haven’t figured out how to read a label are still on the porch-swing. All taken in, it is an absolute no-brainer experiment. The girl at the wine-shop even told me I wasn’t going to like it. HOW many reasons to buy it are we up to now??? Might even steal it. Look away.
Quite dense in the glass, but an even sort of fire-engine ruby core-to-rim. Not ridiculously staining, and a bit of bottle-funk escapes on initial pour. Decanted generously. Rich oak and minty briar take over where the funk blew off. Deep dark ripe cherry–low-lighted with nutmeg and allspice–create a muddy pond of both spring floral and fall color. There is no summer heat or winter chill: this wine is a not-terribly complex painting of all the stages in between. There’s a classic *cabbiness* to the bouquet, not quite tertiary yet but thinking about it, black pepper and squished bug propping up any leathery edges.
A solid Cabernet drop in the mouth. American oak is that YOU? Richly coating on entry, immediately drying to bitter-peppery velvet rasp in to a multi-vitamin finish. The early middle is a watery, luscious, almost-citrusy affair, serving to highlight the briar and herby tannin down the road ahead. A sort of boob-job of fresh berry pops up early-finish, ensuring juicy memories. I’m guessing 14-6 TOPS and is it a cellar-candidate? Hmmmmm. That’s a tough call on this one. There’s plenty of fruit and gorgeous tannins… balance a little off here and there but yeah: it’s got another 5-10 years on it easily. Poppin up all over the Central Coast so watch for it.
2016 FINGER PRINT Cabernet Sauvignon Happy Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 14.4