We found this wine at a liquor store in Dupont Circle in D.C. and decided it was worth transporting back to Boston. The thing that that really attracted us to this wine is that Paul Hobbs(a well-known California winemaker) was involved in its creation -- yet this Cabernet from Argentina is only a fraction of the price of many of Hobbs' wines. While it didn't exactly taste like a typical Cabernet, this wine was a lot of fun - big and bursting with berry flavors. We sampled it without food and look forward to trying it again, perhaps with a roasted pork tenderloin.
We purchased this wine because it’s made by Justin, who also created one of our favorite meritage blends, Isosceles. We enjoyed this wine while we watched the American Idol season premiere with our Canadian friend and colleague, Jen. This was a delicious wine that further convinced us that the sweet spot for Cabs is in the $20 price range. You can get a few good ones for $15, but anything cheaper is usually a bust (including the Ravenswood Cab we tried later that evening). The Justin Cab has a spicy smell of strong grape flavors, but its taste is smooth and silky with robust plum flavors.
As we cooked and then enjoyed our double cherry Grimaud Muscovy duck breasts, we savored this smooth and complex Cabernet Sauvignon. We first stumbled upon Whitehall Lane when we toured Napa Valley in the summer of 2003. After visiting the corporate facilities of Mondavi and Opus, Whitehall was a welcome glimpse into a family winemaking operation. The proprietor’s son offered us the best deal of the day - 5 wine tastes for $5 (including this Cab) and told some intriguing stories about the "insiders" Napa and his family's winery.
This vintage has light berry and spice flavors that blend together well but do not overpower. The distinguishing characteristic is smootheness - from start to finish - with a slightly stronger burst at the end. We seem to have found a sweet spot for Cabernets in this high $20s/low $30s price range - Whitehall Lane way outshines anything we've tried in the sub-$20 range. We'd love to compare it to Pine Ridge, but we'll have to wait for the day when we can afford to open both bottles on the same night!
As we watched the presidential election returns (very slowly) trickle in, we enjoyed this elegant and complex Cabernet Sauvignon. Clos LaChance is a relatively unknown California vineyard, yet makes excellent and well-crafted wines. This Cabernet needs to breathe – the taste changes dramatically as it sits in the glass. The wine is smooth, yet strong, with black currant and toffee flavors with the oak permeating through. One of the Clos LaChance distinctions is that the wines are aged in white oak. We definitely recommend giving this wine a “chance”!
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2000
Rutherford- Napa Valley
Purchased: Wedding Gift from Mr. and Mrs. Matt Allard
Price: ??? (We could look up the price, but that would be tacky)
Drank: October 9, 2004
Who: Thadd and Alice
Note: We enjoyed this wine with a juicy two-day marinated flank steak. We thought we could save a few dollars on a piece of flank, but we quickly learned that flank steak isn’t that cheap after all. Born in Rutherford, CA, dust, this Provenance wine is outstanding with a smooth, sweet taste with a spicy aftertaste. It is rich in black cherry and plum flavors that linger on the palette. Toasty cocoa and toffee essence makes it perfect for a fall evening. Would go well with food or without – it certainly complemented our steak nicely.
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2000
Purchased: New Hampshire Liquor Store
Regular Price: $13.99 We Paid $11.19
Drank: October 2, 2004
Whom: Thadd and Alice
This wine confirms that there’s a big difference between a $20+ cab and a sub $15 cab. It dries out your mouth and is rough around the edges. The plum fruit flavors are masked by a somewhat harsh taste. According to the bottle, this wine showcases a new benchmark style of Central Coast fruit from warmer, sun-drenched vineyards. These vineyards are supposed to provide ripening with a distinct expression of plum and blackberry flavors with extended aging in oak barrels. Maybe we’re missing something, but it just didn’t blow us away.
A&T Ranking: 5.5/10
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2000
Napa Valley - Rutherford
Purchased: NH Liquor Store
Regular Price: $73.98. NH Store price $33.99. We paid $27.19
Drank: August 9, 2004
Whom: Thadd, Alice and Michael Edwards
Comments: We learned about this wine from our wedding DJ, Michael Edwards-- www.getadj.com and enjoyed this bottle with him the week before our wedding. This is an outstanding Cabernet for the price – the flavors are smooth with an excellent finish. It can be enjoyed with a sumptuous steak or without any food at all. The blend consists of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Franc.