Sip on a red wine and taste voluptuous, jammy fruits, a delicate acidity and just a backbone of tannin, and you may think at least three different varietals and I bet none of them would be a Napa Cabernet. Indeed, I had my partner in wine crime taste this blind and his brain went from Zinfandel, to Shiraz, and then settled on a rusty “Pinot Noir,” before saying that whatever it is, it’s definitely not a Cab. Oh how wrong you’d be and how wrong he was. I’m loving the innovation of the new generation of Napa winemakers—even those who have been in the business for years are evolving into this notion of “fresh fruit ripeness,” picking slightly earlier, using minimal intervention winemaking techniques, and ultimately crafting Napa Cabernet that can age elegantly for decades…but are completely gluggable now.

About the Wine: The Jamieson Ranch Vineyards 2015 Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 1% “other red varietals.” The final blend was aged in 100% French oak barrels (40% new) for 16 months.

14.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards 2015 Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon and find beautiful aromas of blueberry, blackberry, anise, and balsamic. This Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep, rich purple-red coloring on the pour and settles into the glass a bit more rustic. It’s nearly impenetrable at it’s core with a brooding blue-violet hue, fading out to a soft red-violet at the outermost perimeter.

Initial aromas are of violets and roses. Indeed, the nose is quite floral. There are soft, plush fruits as well, like overripe black cherry, along with a background of oak wood. Swirl and the wine enlivens the fruit even further and adds to it boysenberries and just a subtle hint of unsweetened cacao.

The palate of the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards 2015 Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon is surprisingly, and pleasantly, fruit forward straight-away with jammy flavors of raspberry, boysenberry, and blackberry. There are climbing tannins, but they stay soft even on the finish, only gently coating the tongue and the teeth. Dominant flavors are of boysenberry, marionberry, cherry liqueur, oak, anise, and chocolate.

To be honest, this Cab doesn’t taste like a Cab at all. Tasting it blind, my partner in wine crime thought it was a Zin-based blend. It’s fresh, vibrant, and consistent.

Food Pairing: I paired the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards 2015 Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon with a turkey burger and a side salad (don’t forget to check out the recipe for the brioche bun). And, I have to say, this is another case of little to no notes in the notebook because the pairing was just that good. The wine is hearty enough to stand up to the meatiness of a burger, but fresh enough to be enjoyed with a salad. It doesn’t overwhelm the palate in either flavor or texture, so you’re free to drink it with whatever you like. But I do highly recommend this pairing.

More Info: I received the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards 2015 Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon as a sample for review. (Cheers Megan!) Retail: $55. For more information about Jamieson Ranch, their wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards website.

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