Imagery Estate Winery was a new one for me. It’s the “sister” winery to the well-known Benziger Family Winery — but I’m going to go ahead and call it the “daughter” winery because, as I understand it, it’s Joe’s daughter Jamie who’s at the helm of the Imagery winemaking. What the two craft together is California wine with a twist: traditional varietals with “something unexpected, something out of the ordinary, something very Imagery.” So who’s ready for a little Cab-adventure?

About the Wine: Imagery Estate Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is made predominantly from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes harvested from Benziger estate vineyards in the Sonoma Valley. The twist? A small percentage of Petite Sirah (exact percentages unknown). The grapes and juices were kept separate until the final blending before bottling. The wines were aged in 100% French oak barrels (type and length unknown).

14.3% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Imagery Estate Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon and breathe in deep aromas of prunes, mud, and mushrooms growing in a forest at midnight. The Cab-blend present a purple-fuchsia on the pour, settling into the glass a bit darker, a bit more maroon —  bit it’s light, bright, and surprisingly see-through. And extremely aromatic.

Initial aromas are of fresh eucalyptus leaves, black cherry and cranberry juice, and purple lilies. Swirl and add a bit of black tea to the mix. The palate of the Imagery Estate Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is full but soft, with an open palate until the tail end, where there’s a gentle dose of tannins that add the slightest tacky texture on the outermost surface of the tongue. But overall the tannins are low, the acidity is a solid medium, perfectly working to keep those tannins away and the flavors alive.

Dominant flavors are of currants, dried and rehydrated black cherry, cola, and just a bit of white pepper on the finish.

Food Pairing: I paired the Imagery Estate Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon with a small bean and cheese burrito and a side of sautéed mushrooms and a tomato-spinach salad. What I loved was the brightness of the tomato allowed the wine to present a denser, fuller fruit flavor. The spice in the burrito, highlighted the freshness of those fruits (and the acidity cut through those spices nicely).

It’s a Cabernet that is ready to drink now and lend itself perfectly to a mid-week meal like this one.

More Info: I received the Imagery Estate Winery 2016 Cabernet Cabernet Sauvignon as a sample for review. Price: varies — find a retailer near you. For more information about Imagery Estate, their wines, and to purchase available wines directly, please visit the Imagery Estate Winery website.

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