The Cab Sauv Columbia Valley 2013 is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot sourced from 8 vineyards in 5 Columbia Valley AVAs and sub-AVAs. This wine is produced by the Magnificent Wine Company (known for the House Wine series) that was originally started by Charles Smith of K Vintners and K Syrah fame. Smith sold the company in 2010, but the winemaker Hal Landvoigt has been part of the project since it started in 2003. The wine seems to have new packaging and is known as the “Originals” along with the Cab Sauv name. Maybe simply calling the wine Cab Sauv was too generic and quite possibly couldn’t be copyrighted since Cab Sauv is a grape name (abbreviation) and not a product. This Cab Sauv was aged in a mix of oak barrels, 35% of the barrels new, with 75% of the oak American, the rest French, and stainless steel tanks for 10 months. The oak barrels impart flavors of vanilla, chocolate, pepper, and spice, while the stainless steel vats emphasize the fresh, ripe fruit flavor of the grapes. The alcohol content is 13.3%.
The color is a barely see-thru purple with black highlights. The nose is ripe black and blue berries, brown sugar, cigar box, and a whiff of smoke from a cherry wood BBQ smoker. This is a Cab Sauv with a large, but smooth (upfront) mouth-feel and a solid tug from the tannins on the backend. It tastes of extracted blackberry, black licorice, black pepper, and plum. The mid-palate adds a salty sensation, along with sweet blueberry, spice, and cashew. The tannins make their presence known, they don’t interfere with sipping pleasure, but this wine has structure. Many Cabs in this price range have the tannins smoothed out, it may make them an “easy to drink” wine, but a real Cabernet Sauvignon has tannins. The finish is full and reasonably long.
The Cab Sauv Columbia Valley 2013 is a legit Cabernet Sauvignon, it has the elements that a good Cab Sauv is supposed to have. A swirl of interesting flavors, a bold mouth-feel, and some solid structure. I am not positive that this is the same wine as the “Originals” Cab Sauv, though I can’t think of a good reason for Magnificent Wine Company to have 2 different wines labeled Cab Sauv 2013. But this is a very solid under $15 Cabernet Sauvignon that is definitely worth seeking out.