Cheers - July/August 2015

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Page 45 of 51 46 • July/August 2015 CABS, AMERICAN STYLE We asked members of our panel to review their favorite cabernet sauvignons from the U.S. (California as well as other states). As always, these selections include brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine's retail price (which can vary from store to store and market to market). If you're a beverage professional with a specialty in wine and you're interested in participating in the panel, please contact associate editor Kyle Swartz at or 203-855-8499 x225. perfect balance, with all components on the lengthy fi nish. ($65) (95) J. McClelland Cabernet Sauvignon Oak Knoll District 2012 (Napa Valley, CA). A blend of 86% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 4% petit verdot, barrel-aged for 20 to 24 months. This is an elegant wine, reminiscent of a good Saint-Julien. Distinctive cabernet sauvignon aromas and fl avors predominate. The merlot adds a velvety texture, the petit verdot adds a pleasant herbal nuance. Tannins are fi rm. While nice now, fi ve to six more years will allow some lovely development. ($50) (95) Rocca Family Vineyards, Collinetta Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Napa Valley, CA). From a vineyard located in the Coombsville AVA, just east of the city of Napa, this lovely example of a Napa Valley cabernet is sure to please the most discerning of palates. Intensely dark in the glass, the nose is fi lled with black fruit, and hints of toast. Exceptionally well balanced, with a long fi nish. ($95) (95) Saint Helena Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Napa Valley, CA). Blend of 98% cabernet sauvignon, 2% petit verdot, estate grown. Native yeast fermentation and 22 months in three types of French oak, 70% new, add to the complexities of this fabulous wine. The bouquet is lush with hints of lilac, blueberry and black cherry. The mouthfeel is rich with ripe, black fruit fl avors mingling with nuances of mocha, coffee and sweet spices and a hint of "cigar box" on the end. Tannins are fi rm, in balance, and assure several years of development. ($75) FIVE STARS (96) Gallo Estate Northern Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Sonoma, CA). A dense ruby purple, the nose is dominated by lovely black berry and plum fruit, with just a hint of toasted oak. Solid on the palate, balanced by its acidity. A brilliant example of restraint and power in the bottle. Wonderful now, but capable of aging. ($95) (96) Shypoke 2012 Calistoga (Napa Valley, CA). An aromatic, powerful, yet elegant cabernet aged in French oak. You'll swoon over the ménage of blackberries and cassis. This impeccable cab is simply delicious and worth every penny. ($55) (96) Stewart Cellars Napa (California). Enjoy the work of Paul Hobbs at less mon- ey. Cellar-worthy choice. Rich and plush with even tannins. Deep, dark and brooding with a long fi nish. ($65) (95) Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2011 (Napa Valley, CA). A blend of 85% cabernet sauvignon, 9% petit verdot, 6% cabernet franc, aged 22 months in French barriques, 50% new. A wine of amazing depth. Aromas of currant, plum and blackberry mingle with fl oral nuances and a subtle earthiness. Rich, round black fruit fl avors coat the palate with lovely sweet/tart acidity. Hints of smoke, spice and terroir follow. Tannins are supple and in RATING SYSTEM Five Stars (92-100 points) A top-fl ight wine. Superior in taste and character and providing an outstanding price/value relationship. Four Stars (86-91 points) A very good wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back. Three Stars (80-85 points) An above-average wine at a reasonable price point, which many consumers will enjoy. Our wine panelists recommend a variety of American cabernet sauvignons PHOTO CREDIT: ©ISTOCK.COM/GILAXIA

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