After yesterday’s swill, I decided to show what a GOOD $20 cab can be. This used to be on every supermarket shelf in the country–and most likely still is–though with recent events at Clos Du Bois, I’m expecting a disappearance of everything above *general county* quality. It’s sad, really: as this label was a cornerstone of my–and many others my age–early wine foundation. And they probably made 30,000 cases of this stuff. Corporate junk? Sure: there’s always that argument, but clean and flawless and readily-available for people still groping around for reliable quality at this PP.
Inky garnet in the glass–impenetrable and staining. Great nose: THAT SMELLS LIKE CAB. That’s an important distinction from yesterday’s offering. Spicy and gritty and dirty, mired in vanilla and black cherry and petrichor with touches of tertiary poking through. And these wine CAN age. Quite wonderfully with even sketchy storage. They are strong and clean and not packed with things that can go awry after a half-decade. This little thing’s 8 and has years to go.
In the mouth, a sultry wash of elegant berry, thick with proper concentration and without sweetness or glaring oak treatment. Acid a quiet background, tannins practically null, but showing nice balance under the mellow fruit. In the cheap Cab sweepstakes, Alexander Valley is ALWAYS going to shine to true cab-lovers substantially brighter than general *Sonoma County* versions. There’s just so much more true color and complexity built into it. The finish is all briar and black walnut–a glorious juxtaposition to the still-thick fruit. You literally CAN’T go wrong here. Despite the dull roar of collective eye-rolling from bling-bro and hipster-somm everywhere, this is a flat-out beautiful wine.
2013 CLOS DU BOIS Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Sonoma 14.5