The 2009 Thorny Rose Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 3% Syrah sourced from vineyards in Columbia Valley, Washington, along with vineyards located in sub-AVA’s, Horse Heaven Hills and the Wahluke Slope, located inside of the Columbia Valley. Thorny Rose is one of Hogue Cellars labels, which in turn is owned by Constellation Brands, the largest wine company in the world. Thorny Rose is a brand aimed at Millennials which usually means one of two things, either the wine is sweet, supposedly younger wine drinkers prefer sweet wine or the wine is juicy and fruit forward with soft tannins. I think when the Marketing department wins, you get sweet wine and when the winemakers win, you get the fruit forward, approachable wine. This Cabernet is a mix of wine aged in stainless steel tanks and American oak barrels. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a dark black plum with cherry highlights. The nose is blackberry, a little oak spice, a touch of vanilla and the faint aroma of baking brownies. This is a ten buck Cabernet that has loads of flavor. It starts of with black cherry, dark chocolate, prune juice and plum. The mid palate adds dusty cocoa powder, tart cherry and more Altoid’s spice than you usually see from a Cabernet Sauvignon. The tannins are very soft and sweet, the acidity is plentiful, the abundance of rich fruit flavors keep it hidden in the body of the wine, but the acidity shows up at the end to help the dark fruit and spice finish to bop right along.
Hey Millennials, drink this wine instead of the sweet stuff. The Thorny Rose Cabernet Sauvignon has a rich mix of Cabernet flavors, a nice bit of complexity, if not a ton of depth. The lack of tannins does not seen too out of place in a, drink it now, $10 wine and its tastiness quotient makes up for any missing structure. This is a smooth, easy drinking, very pleasing, everyday Cabernet Sauvignon.
In a side note, the label is very curious. It has skulls, silver naked ladies with angel wings, pigs with wings, bunnies with crowns and butterflies, swans, squirrels and keys, all in a design that looks like one of the old Affliction t-shirts. So, it seems the winemakers won on the wine and the marketing department won on the label.