The Avalon CAB California Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Syrah, 7% Zinfandel and 4% Merlot sourced from vineyards located in Napa Valley (the largest % of the grapes come from Napa), Lodi, Paso Robles and Monterey County in Northern California. This Cab was aged for 8 months in French and American oak barrels and the list price is $12.99, though a quick check of the internet showed some stores selling it for as low as $9. This is a “drink it now“, everyday Cabernet Sauvignon, unpretentious, but the grapes are sourced from very solid California growing locations and 8 months aging in oak barrels is a nice touch for this price range. The alcohol content is 13.8%.
In an interesting side note: The Avalon CAB is the first US wine to use the Nomacorc’s Select Bio closure. It is a cork substitute produced from a polymer made from sugar cane. It’s sustainable, it’s durable, it’s recyclable (toss it in your recycling container with the the plastic bottles and paper products) and it allows a teeny-tiny bit of air transfer to the wine. Regular corks allow a small amount of air to get thru, but not too much, oxygen is the enemy of wine. The Nomacorc can be manufactured to allow a specified amount of air transfer so the winemaker can match the closure to the wine.
The color is a shiny cherry red with an almost clear halo. The nose is warm and inviting, ripe red berries, oak spice, cocoa powder, a little black pepper and spice drop candy. This is a CAB with some very interesting depth of flavor and a solid amount of structure. It tastes of a mix of blackberry, raspberry, sweet blueberry, black peppercorn and Thanksgiving herbs. The mid-palate adds cherries in cream, orange zest, Altoids spice and bitter dark chocolate. This CAB has a solid dose of tannins, just like a proper California Cabernet should have, but Cabs in this price range don’t always have. The acidity says ” I’m a food wine”, but does not get in the way of sipping pleasure. The finish is strong and lengthy.
A winemaker once told me that there are 2 types of wine. Terroir driven wines, which are a collaboration between a single vineyard, Mother Nature and the winemaker and Winemakers Creations, where the winemaker takes a little of this and a little of that and creates a unique wine. The Avalon CAB is a Winemakers Creation and the winemaker did a real good job. This is a solid Cab that drinks better than it’s price tag. Pair it with prime steaks on the grill or Chipotle steak burritos, it can do fancy or carry-out.
this bottle was received as a sample