Mission Codename Cabcandy
That’s all it took for every one of us to say “YES. Lock it down” before an intense game of Rochambeau to see who took the measly bit that remained in the sample home.
98 points (albeit, from the North coast wine challenge, but we’d vouch for at least 94-95 of those points) and only $25 does not come around often. We promise, you won’t fret about either the price or points when you taste it.
Maybe because this wildly crushable Cabernet has a sort of Caymus-esque vibe going on. That uber-rich, satisfyingly hedonistic style that reels you in for one too many pours. But what sealed the deal was the price - which has an “open me any weeknight” drink with abandon personality - and the fresh accolade to boost.
Wilson Winery in Dry Creek is led by Diane Wilson, who has racked up more gold medals than Michael Phelps. Her wines are constantly top of the class at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair and San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competitions and the winery is a true family operation. You aren’t funding an expansive multi-million-dollar architecture or high-priced vineyard management in spiffy Napa Valley. Much more a down-to-earth, farming family that makes good, honest wine.
Like we said, it’s quite rich in style, and NOT a restrained type of wine. Big, bold, and rich with a lavish core of sweet French oak wrapped in layers of vanilla, cedar, sweet black cherry, blueberry jam, and overripe blackberry. Like some Willy Wonka wine concoction, it has some baking chocolate too. Liquid candy - but for adults. Soft cotton candy tannins float along an Amazonian River of a finish. It’s a dry wine, to be sure, with no residual sugar. But maybe it’s the addition of 6% Malbec and 6% Syrah that really sends this into another dimension of enjoyment.
No wonder Wilson is HUGE in popularity, locally and nationally, stacking best of this, best of that awards year after year since their humble beginnings in the early 1990s. With over a dozen wines scoring 90+ points with Wine Spectator and that impeccable track record of literally hundreds of Gold Medals from competitions, they are unrivaled, just like their other acclaimed sister properties such as Mazzocco, Matrix, Pezzi King, Rockpile, etc.
1000% chance we will get a load of “DO YOU HAVE MORE” requests for this one. This was an exceptional value at the down-home, ultra-honest Sonoma locals’ price they charge at the winery. If it had a certain four-letter word that rhymes with “SLAPPA” on the label, no doubt the price would be at least double or triple.
Of course, from us? A flat-out steal. Sadly, Cabernet in the $20s rarely lasts the day…
98 Points – North Coast Wine Challenge
“Every year The Press Democrat, the largest circulation daily of the North Bay Area with coverage of Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino, holds the North Coast Wine Challenge. The shortlist of 2021 winners was just announced, and this wine not only was the highest-scoring Cabernet Sauvignon of the three that made the list, but was also awarded Best of Class with this near-perfect rating.”
Deep crimson to the narrow rim, with a radiant, almost impenetrably opaque core of vivid dark ruby
Sweet French oak wrapped in layers of vanilla, cedar, sweet black cherry, blueberry jam, and overripe blackberry
Big, bold, and rich with a lavish core, like some Willy Wonka wine concoction, it has some baking chocolate too
Long, intense, liquid candy - for adults - soft cotton candy tannins float along an Amazonian River of a finish
Steaks, slow-cooked veggie stews, even better with BBQ, homemade pizzas, or a flourless chocolate cake
What the Winery Says
2017 Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Diane Wilson
- 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, 6% Syrah
- Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
- 30 months
- 35% new French oak
- 15 barrels