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Occasio Winery 2017 Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

From a Legacy Terroir
Under $20 Cabernet

Mission Codename Rising to the occasion

We haven’t been this excited since they had 2-for-1 avocados at the supermarket. And you have NO idea how much we love a killer deal and some fresh guac. But finding a $19 Cabernet that drinks like something costing MUCH more fills us with pure, unbridled excitement.

Question… how many Livermore Valley Cabs do you own? We’ll assume it’s somewhere between zero and none. This once regarded as better than Napa, and nowadays underrated region boasts some legendary names like Mirassou, Concannon, Wente and Steven Kent. You can land some serious value vis a vis Napa here, if you look hard.

Serious value actually is an understatement as this completely obliterated ALL expectations in a profound way at our recent tasting panel. We kept going back for another taste just to reaffirm how insanely delicious it was. It all starts to make sense when you learn Occasio founder/winemaker John Kinney was inspired by the philosophy of French great, Henri Jayer, the winemaker behind arguably the greatest of all Burgundies. And it shows. He’s fanatical about every aspect - from hand harvesting and hand sorting everything for his small production wines (just 5 barrels made of this one!) to choosing the absolute best American or French oak for each wine, to micro-farming each vineyard plot to maximize its expression of terroir.

Boy, does it show. SO much to love here. It’s medium to full bodied, but not thick or syrupy, with a lovely spectrum of red and black fruits. The sweet red licorice and cherry pie blends with chocolate infused blackberry, crème de cassis (MMMM). Perfectly integrated French oak adds a nice vanilla streak and carries an uber soft and polished mouthfeel. All this complexity makes it an ideal Cab for smoked meats, dry-rubbed, slow-cooked baby back ribs, hearty vegetable stews and curries.

What we can’t believe is that the wine press has not caught up with the profoundness here, with the exception of Wine Enthusiast, with a couple of dozen 90+ scores and Editors’ Choice awards for Occasio in the recent past, while they have yet to rate this 2017. Reviews on previous vintages of this SHINE with praise, “restrained and elegant, alluring… ample structure, and a vein of minerality cradled into one delicious package… tastes lovingly hand-crafted, detailed and focused… rich and luxurious it retains ample natural acidity to buoy its way through a meal or through several years of aging.”

Frankly, out of hundreds of recent samples, we haven’t tasted ANYTHING that competes at this price.

Hope you grabbed some already as there wasn’t much made and we bought all we could. But sub-$20 Cabernet goes fast around here! If you could taste it, you would want it by the truckload.

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What the Winery Says 2017 Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Occasio Winery
Occasio Winery
John Kinney
97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot
Livermore Valley
Sachau & Ghielmetti Vineyards
Harvest dates
October 7 – October 17, 2017
Brix at harvest
23.8 – 25.2
Total acidity
0.55 g/L
Bottling date
August 23, 2019
18 months
50% new French oak
5 barrels

About the Winery Occasio Winery

Occasio Winery Winemaker John Kinney
Occasio Winery Winemaker John Kinney
Offer Expired Sep 02, 2020 at 11:59 pm
Price Redacted
Offer Expired Sep 02, 2020 at 11:59 pm
Price Redacted