Red, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Monterey, WINE

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Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties, grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s. Despite its prominence, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when coming from unfamiliar wine regions.

The classic profile of Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be full body with high tannins and noticeable acidity that contributes to the wine's extended aging potential. In cooler climates, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to produce wines with blackcurrant notes that can be accompanied by green bell pepper notes, mint, and cedar, which will all become more pronounced as the wine ages. In more moderate climates, the blackcurrant notes are often mitigated, with black cherry and black olives notes becoming more prominent. In the hottest climates, the currant flavors can veer towards the over-ripe and "jammy" side.

Both Old World and New World styles can be remarkably varied. Bordeaux is the grape's ancestral home, and where it finds the most complex expression. In the wine regions of the Left Bank, the Cabernet influence on the wines shows up in unique fashion according to each sub-region. In St-Estèphe and Pessac-Léognan, the grape develops more mineral flavors. Aromas of violets are a characteristic of Margaux, Pauillac is noted by a strong lead pencil scent, and St-Julien by cedar and cigar boxes, while the southern Graves region is characterized by strong blackcurrant flavors, though in less intense expression overall. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon used in the blend will depend on terroir and the winemakers styles as well as the vintage. In Italy, especially the vineyards of Tuscany, Cabernet Sauvignon is characterized by ripe black cherry flavors that can give a perception of sweetness, as well as strong notes of blackcurrant. The wines typically reach an alcohol level around 14% but can still maintain notable levels of balance and finesse.

New World Cabernet is decidely more "consumer friendly." In California, the main stylistic difference in Cabernet Sauvignon is between hillside/mountain vineyards and those on flatter terrain like valley floors or some areas of the Central Valley. In Napa, the hillside vineyards of Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, and Spring Mountain District have thinner, less fertile soils, which produces smaller berries and more intense flavors, reminiscent of Bordeaux wines that require years of aging to mature. The yields are also much lower. Wines produced from mountainside vineyards tend to be characterized by deep, inky colors and strong berry aromas. Throughout California there are many wine regions that have the potential to grow Cabernet Sauvignon to full ripeness and produce fruity, full-bodied wines with alcohol levels regularly above the Bordeaux average of 12–13%. The use of oak in California Cabernet has a long history, with many producers favoring new barrels made predominantly of American oak. Washington Cabernet Sauvignon is characterized by its fruitiness and easy drinking styles that are not overly tannic. Washington AVAs that have seen recent success with their Cabernet Sauvignons include the Columbia Valley, Red Mountain, Walla Walla Valley, and Yakima Valley AVAs.

Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in nearly every South American country including Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay. In Chile, the wines were historically limited by the excessively high yields that were commonplace throughout the country. As producers began to concentrate on limiting yields, regional differences began to emerge that distinguished Chilean Cabernets. For vineyard plantings along flat river valleys, the climate of the region is the most important consideration, but as plantings move to higher elevations and along hillsides, soil type is a greater concern. The wines of the Aconcagua region are noted for their ripe fruit but closed, tight structure that needs some time in the bottle to develop. In the Maipo Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are characterized by their pervasive blackcurrant fruit and an earthy, dusty note. In warmer regions, such as the Colchagua Province, the grapes ripen more fully and produce wines with rich, ripe fruit flavors. The wines here are famously approachable for their soft acidity and tannic structure. In Argentina, Cabernet Sauvignon trails Malbec as the country's staple red grape but its numbers are growing. The wines are characterized by lighter fruit flavors and are meant to be consumed young. Premium examples are often blended with Malbec and produce full, tannic wines with savory leather and earthy tobacco notes. In recent years, there have been increased plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Uco Valley of the Mendoza Province.

In the 1980s, Australia followed California's contemporary trend in producing lighter, more "food friendly" wines with alcohol levels around 11-12% percent, but by the early 1990s, the styles changed again to focus on balance and riper fruit flavors. Today, Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most widely planted red grape in Australia, following Shiraz with which it is often blended. It can be found in several wine regions with many large producers using grapes from several states. Notable regional differences characterize Australian Cabernet Sauvignon styles. In the 1970s, the Coonawarra region first brought international attention to Australian Cabernet Sauvignons with intense fruit flavors and subtle mint and herbal notes, owing in large part to its unique, iron-rich terra rossa soils. The Margaret River region soon followed with wines that were tightly structured with pronounced black fruit notes. In contrast to these cooler regions, Barossa Valley produces big, full bodied wines, while the nearby Clare Valley produces wines with more concentrated fruit.

There is no doubt and no argument — Cabernet Sauvignon has taken its place as the king of red wine grapes, and for good reason. There is no other red grape in the world that has availed itself to so many regions, climates, and styles.

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Approachable and bright, this complex Pinot Noir opens with aromas of Bing cherry, cola and boysenberry. On the palate, notes of rich red fruit are supported by hints of oak and are accentuated by soft, silky tannins. The finish is clean and lush with hints of minerality, herbs and vanilla. This… ...
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Kali Hart (Talbott) Pinot Noir Monterey County Estate 2017  (#334640)

Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California

Approachable and bright, this complex Pinot Noir opens with aromas of Bing cherry, cola and boysenberry. On the palate, notes of rich red fruit are supported by hints of oak and are accentuated by soft, silky tannins. The finish is clean and lush…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
Sourced from Monterey County, this wine has a dark ruby color with a great nose of cherry, cola, and a wonder floral component. Flavors of cherry, cola, plum, herb, are intermixed with lovely acid to keep it fresh, lively, and not too heavy. While this is a juicy and upfront wine, this has the… ...
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Jackhammer Pinot Noir Monterey County 2016  (#333180)

Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California

Sourced from Monterey County, this wine has a dark ruby color with a great nose of cherry, cola, and a wonder floral component. Flavors of cherry, cola, plum, herb, are intermixed with lovely acid to keep it fresh, lively, and not too heavy. While…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
The red fruit brightens across the palate, picking up raspberry and spice are balance by the French toasted oak aromas. Soft and silky through the middle, this wine crescendo on the finish leaves a vibrant, juicy memory in the mouth, with proper acidity and a pleasant mouthfeel. ...
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Poppy Pinot Noir Monterey County 2016  (#333474)

Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California

The red fruit brightens across the palate, picking up raspberry and spice are balance by the French toasted oak aromas. Soft and silky through the middle, this wine crescendo on the finish leaves a vibrant, juicy memory in the mouth, with proper…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
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