2017 'C|S' Napa / Lake Co. Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa & Lake Counties
Half & half
Take your GameStop profits, sell a few bitcoins, dogecoins, or crack open the kids’ piggy bank. Whatever it takes. Get at least a few bottles of this for your weeknight “I need something good but don’t want to raid my top shelf” type stash. For under $20 this stuff drinks like something $50-100. The value!! 60% OFF!!!
We know this because a few weeks ago we bagged 10 Cabernets & blends and blind-tasted them. In the end, we pushed just 4 bottles forward which we all agreed had the right stuff. Those included a Janzen, a Lewis (!), a Catena, and this beauty. The other three check in around $100-150 per bottle.
Not this one. A total outlier in the group, priced way, WAY less than the rest.
So how did a $18 Cab find itself in the company of other prestigious bottles costing 3-4x as much?? How do you get big, ripe, expansive quality at a price like this? Simple. You source some grapes from high elevation vineyards in Lake County, where the fruit costs way, WAY less. And blend with some premium fruit from the Napa Valley floor. Lake County has been that red-headed stepchild of Napa, but in recent years it’s grown into a powerhouse. There’s a good reason Andy Beckstoffer, Fred Schrader and other prolific names invest up there - the volcanic soils and rugged terrain make for perfect growing conditions while tending the vines cost MUCH less.
This is just textbook Cabernet on all levels - cassis, blackberry, freshly cracked black pepper, and all, medium to full-bodied, lush with bold black cherry, sweet vanilla, and hints of exotic spices. Soft mouthfeel, with no hard edges and composed from back to front. Just a straight-up reliable Cab. This is your go-to bottle for that weeknight steak dinner, served up simply with taters and veggies, though if you sneak it into a blind tasting with much pricier reds as we did, it sure can blow minds.
This newer label under Shannon Ridge was only reviewed once, withWine Enthusiast raving about the “excellent” 2016: “This big but balanced wine carries aromas of black cherry and mint. The palate offers a firm texture, with fresh flavors of ripe black cherry, cranberry and black plum.” Which to us sounds just like this 2017, with super enthused two big fat thumbs up on top.
Grab a few more than you think you need because when it sells out (it ought to) and we get a flood of emails asking for more… well, you know how it goes.
Deep ruby with crimson highlights, radiating harmoniusly from rim to core
This is just textbook Cabernet on all levels, cassis, blackberry, freshly cracked black pepper, and all
Medium to full-bodied, lush with bold black cherry, sweet vanilla, and hints of exotic spices
Soft mouthfeel, with no hard edges and composed from back to front, cust a straight-up reliable Cab
This is your go to bottle for that weeknight steak dinner, served up simply with taters and veggies
What the Winery Says
- Joy Merrilees
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 49% Napa Valley, 51% Lake County
- Harvest dates
- October 15-20, 2017
- Brix at harvest
- 24.8 (Napa) 25.7 (Lake)
- Total acidity
- 6.35 g/L
- 20 months
- 59% new 86% French, 14% American oak