The 2008 LampLighter Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet sourced from vineyards in more than one California grape growing AVA. LampLighter is made by the “Cult of 8,” eight working winemakers who use their contacts to buy excess grapes or surplus finished wine at a reduced price. They also are responsible for Alias Wines, who make the same wines at roughly the same price points. LampLighter seems to be related to Beringer Winery, while Alias is related to Cannonball wines. This is a 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon which is a good deal of bottle age for a wine selling for $7. The alcohol content is 13.8%.
The color is blood plasma red with a salmon halo. The nose is dark berries, cocoa powder, cassis and a little new mown hay. It starts off with fresh strawberry, tart cherry and milk chocolate. The mid palate adds blueberries in cream, orange peal and vanilla. The tannins are soft and the acidity is well balanced. The finish lasts for a respectable length of time.
This is a $7 California Cabernet Sauvignon that actually tastes like a California Cabernet Sauvignon. It doesn’t have the weight and depth of more expensive Cabs, but it gives you a genuine Cali Cab experience. I don’t know if the Alias Cab and the Lamplight Cab is the same wine with 2 different labels, or if the “Cult of 8” got it right twice (new info note: same wine 2 different labels), but this is a cheap Cabernet Sauvignon that is worth drinking.