The Union and Branch Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 are a $14.99 Aldi wine exclusive produced for them by a large family-owned wine estate located in the Monterey AVA of California. The $14.99 price point is a stretch for Aldi wine. They have an excellent $19.99 Champagne that they release every year for the holidays, but otherwise, their wines top off at 12 bucks.
So, why the sudden jump in price? Trader Joe’s recently offered a ten-dollar Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon that had been sold to restaurants under a different label but did not sell due to issues with Covid. They also have a $19.99 Staggs Leap Cabernet that came for a vineyard near fire and smoke that plagued northern California.
Do the Union and Branch Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 show any obvious signs that this is an expensive wine selling for less due to unforeseen circumstances? The answer is no.
Scheid Family Vineyards is listed as the producer on California’s wine COLA website. They are a large, excellent producer of estate wines from the Monterey AVA. Paso Robles is south of Monterey and the Scheid website does not show them making any Paso Robles wine. Though they do produce custom wine.
Trader Joe’s has their Grand Reserve and their Platinum Reserve wines that indicate the wine is typical more exclusive and expensive than TJ’s price, is there anything from Aldi that would indicate a more expensive wine? The wine bottle is an expensive, heavy Napa-style bottle and it has a wax cap, though the cork is an ordinary composite cork.
The wine is aged for 10 months in French oak barrels, but other Paso Robles Cabs such as Liberty School, J Lohr, and Poppy have longer oak aging programs. It is a small batch of wine with the grapes chosen from 3 lots, ls 3, 16, and 29. but what happened to the other 26 lots.
The label shows the soil PH as 7.4 to 8.6 which may seem like an odd detail, but all the soil in Paso Robles has that PH, and the soil is unique to Paso. The earth has ancient granite that is decomposing, marine rock, and volcanic soil which gives Paso soil that is different from all other AVAs in California.
Union and Branch streets are on the west side of the city of Paso Robles out where the vineyards are located. Is it a hint to the wine’s origin? Maybe, but nothing stands out as an obvious choice. Are the Union and Branch Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 a $25 Cab selling for $14.99? Or is it a Cabernet Sauvignon wine in the 15 dollar range? We are going to have to taste it to find out more. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The Union and Branch Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 Tasting Notes
The color is cranberry red with black highlights. The nose is subtle, there is blackberry, soft spice, black pepper, cola, herbs, mint, and ripe plum. The Union and Branch Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is soft on the palate with a rich balanced flavor.
This Cabernet Sauvignon tastes like blackberry, black pepper, licorice, and Dr. Pepper (not sweet). The mid-palate shows blueberry, subtle exotic spice, dusty chocolate powder, and tart cranberry.
The tannins are sweet and the acidity does an excellent job of giving the flavors time to unfold. This is a smooth, well-made Cabernet Sauvignon, everything is balanced.
- Is the Union and Branch Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 an expensive wine selling for much less? I do not know for sure. It is a well-made, tasty wine that is well worth its $14.99 price tag.
- I suspect that this Cab woud sell in the $25 range if where sold in a retail wine shop and not at Aldi.
- It has a balance that is not always found in value-priced Cabs.