Calling all Cabernet enthusiasts — your tried and true favorite is back in the spotlight, this season with a cast of characters you may not have considered before. While Cabernet Sauvignon can read as a stagnant, old-guard variety, there are some growing regions that are really coming into their own with exciting new takes on an old darling.
Washington’s primary Cabernet region, the Columbia Valley, has had its doubters in the past. Inland, dry, and rather cool, the skeptics worried that Cab plantings wouldn’t properly ripen within the shorter-than-Napa growing season. But we’ve known for a while that Napa is not the last word on Cabernet — now showing palpable warming trends, the Columbia Valley is leaning into a fortuitous combo of boosted sunshine and acid-preserving cool nights which keep their wines from getting too flabby. This is precisely the thesis of Three Rivers Cabernet — fresh blackberry and blueberry, dark currant, and an impressive, brambly tannic presence.
Oh hey! It’s High Valley, the debutante of sustainability in Lake County, a region whose altitude benefits Cabernet’s need for acid retention and freshness. High Valley’s Cabernet shows big and plush California fruit, with a harmonious complexity that paints quite a pretty picture of the region’s potential. Juice-packed blackberry and dark chocolate are lifted by subtle cranberry and currant, with potpourri, sweet tobacco, dark earth, and eucalyptus showing through the finish. This is an excellent selection for Cali Cab die-hards who are ready for a cleaner wine, in every sense of the word.
Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon
Another bastion of high-elevation Cabernet, this babe comes from the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina. Like its more-famed Malbecs, Cabernets from Mendoza have the dual benefit of sunny aspect and cooling mountain evenings to produce wines of power and finesse. Dark plum and red currant are subtle but clear amidst bramble and warm spices, vanilla and toast. Time in new and used French oak softens the robust tannins while preserving the wine’s oomph.
Enjoy these wines anytime thru September 29th, at any of our Top Ten Locations.
-Aimee Hutchinson | Wine Manager Top Ten Liquors