The Trader Joe's Napa Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, the actual name on the bottle is Trader Joe's Platinum Reserve Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Lot #97. The name was too long to fit in the title section.Trader Joe's features an array of Napa Valley sub-AVA Cabernets. I saw Atlas Peak, Yountville, Spring Mountain in addition to Oakville. All sell for $14.99. A typical Nappa sub-AVA starts at $24 to $30 and goes up.I picked the Oakville Napa Cabernet Sauvignon because Oakville is the home of Screaming Eagle, a 100 point Red that sells for thousands of dollars. This Trader Joe's wine is not Screaming Eagle, but Oakville is not that big, the vineyard these grapes came from was not that far from the Screaming Eagle vineyard.I do not know which vineyard or vineyards the grapes for Lot #97 came from, but we do know who made the wine. Precision Wine Company offers 11 different wine brands, one of them, Technique, is sold at Trader Joe's. They offer an Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon under their own label that lists for $48, so they know their way around Napa wines.This is a 2018 vintage wine which means it is a drink-it-now wine that has had almost two years of aging. We do not know what sort of oak barrel aging treatment the Trader Joe's Napa Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 had. Not knowing key production facts is one of the reasons this wine sells for such a low price for an Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon.With the expensive Napa Cabs who the cooperage was and which forest in France supplied the oak important features. Which vineyard supplied the grapes, which famous winery, and which rockstar winemaker was involved are the details that lead to coveted wines and super high price tags.With Trader Joe's Napa Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, we don't know any of that. We do know that Oakville is a load production wine, less than 5,000 cases (12 bottles to a case) and the grapes came from a premium vineyard. We know that because that is the only type of vineyard they have in Oakville.Knowing we are getting a wine made from great grapes is all we really need to know. Trader Joe's has enough of a history and a reputation that we expect solid winemaking techniques. Add great grapes to that along with a low price and you have the makings of a bargain.Trader Joe's says this Cabernet Sauvignon under a retail wine label would sell for $30. They do not typically over-sell their wines so if they say it is a thirty dollar wine I believe them. The alcohol content is 15%.Trader Joe's Napa Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Tasting NotesThe color is deep, dark, opaque purple. The nose is smokey, spicey, dark, and brooding. There are extracted blackberry, black licorice, black pepper, mushroom, herbs, exotic spice, slow-cooked BBQ in a smoker, and sweet chocolate. The nose is worth the cost of the bottle.This is a drink-it-now wine, it shouldn't need decanting, but give the wine plenty of time to open up. This is a sleek, rich Cabernet that is full of flavor. It tastes of blackberry mixed with slightly sweeter blueberry, slightly bitter dark chocolate, a hint of green pepper, and black pepper. The mid-palate brings slightly rough spice, cranberry, a tug from the tannins, and a late hit of strawberry.This is a smooth, sleek wine, it has medium weight on the palate. The acidity does a fine job of allowing the flavors to unfold.The SummaryThe Trader Joe's Napa Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is a terriffic $14.99 Napa Cabernet SauvignonI was originally planning on giving one of Trader Joe's current crop of Napa sub-AVA Cabs and then move on to something else.But this Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon brings huge value for the price. I am going to give some of the other sub-AVA Cabs a try.These are wines you need to try.
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