Tag: Cabernet Sauvignon

Georgós Wine 2014 ITHAKA

When we think of Greek wine, we often think “Old World.” We can’t help it — the phrase “the drink of the gods” directly points to the mythos of this culture. But Georgos Zanganas had a different thought. When he came to Sonoma he immediately fell in love with its bucolic beauty — who could blame him? What he didn’t love, however, was the obvious lack of Greek wine varietals available to him. So he asked himself, why not combine his history and culture with his new California life. And so it is that Georgos Wine was created — old world grapes blended with new world grapes; old world winemaking tradition combined with new world techniques; old ideas revitalized and re-defined to meet the modern wine drinking world.

About the Wine: The name ITHAKA is named after an ancient Greek island, said to have once ruled by Odysseus, the legendary Greek king of ITHAKA (and a hero of Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey). The name is a nod to the noble grape of Sonoma — Cabernet Sauvignon — with which the wine is made.

The Georgós Wine 2014 ITHAKA is made from a combination of 15% Agiorgitiko grapes — sourced from and produced in Greece — and 85% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes sourced from Sonoma County . All grapes are hand-picked, hand-sorted, and gently pressed. While the Agiorgitiko was picked and produced in Greece, the final blend was created in Sonoma, California. The wine aged in combination French (55%), Hungarian (20%), and American (25%) oak barrels (35% new).

13.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Georgós Wine 2014 ITHAKA and breathe in the aromas of plump blueberries — skins and all — along with a very light background of a kind of gamey umami. On the pour this Greek wine is very sanguine: a rich, ruby-red on the pour. It settles into the glass quite dark, with an impenetrable maroon center that fades out toward a dusty rouge, which fades out even further to a rose petal pink at the ultimate perimeter.

Initial aromas are actually quite floral from the glass, reminiscent of roses still hanging on the bush. You can still smell that bit of gamey umaminess along with the dust of dried tree bark — any berries as well as acidity linger quite delicately in the back. So swirl and awaken the raspberries, cranberries, vanilla essence, blood orange zest and hints of nutmeg.

The palate is quite soft with plush, cotton-like tannins. The acidity is present but maintains a calm and level presence from start to finish. Dominant flavors are of eucalyptus tree bark, raspberries, cranberries, raw cacao, hint of anise, dessert-like spices, and a finish reminiscent of candied cinnamon.

What was most pleasantly surprising to me was how well rounded, balanced, and light this Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine was.

Food Pairing: I paired the Georgós Wine 2014 Penelope’s Spell with a herb-crusted lamb rack, golden beetroot and goats cheese salad, and a green pea purée. The earthy sweetness of the beetroot brought out a bit of the earthy, somewhat soily elements that were hidden behind some of the fruit notes in the wine, yet simultaneously highlighted the brightness of the cranberry notes. The lamb, with its thready texture and innate juiciness, brought forward some of that hidden umami initially sensed on the nose, as well as brought forward some darker fruit flavors (like plum and currants) not originally defined on the palate when sipping the wine on its own.

More Info: I received the Georgós Wine 2014 Penelope’s Spell as a sample for review. (Cheers Alexa!) Retail: Currently Unavailable. For more in formation about Georgós Wine and to purchase available wines directly, please visit the Georgós Wine website.


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Grgich Hills 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

I’ve come to love anything Grgich Hills produces: from their bodacious Zinfandel to their textural Chardonnay; their light and lively Fumé Blanc, and even their seemingly ‘crazy’ rosé. But nothing says “Napa love” like a glass of their Cabernet Sauvignon. I was first introduced to this wine almost one year ago, and was taken aback by how simultaneously rugged and voluptuous their 2013 vintage was — all the while maintaining a certain lightness from start to finish. While the 2014 seems to kick it up a notch, Grgich Hills reputation for friendly Cabernet, expressive of its Napa estate fruit, is absolutely in tact.

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Corner 103 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Corner 103 owner and founder Lloyd Davis has been in the wine industry for a number of years. As the former head winemaker for Viansa winery, he won over 400 wine competitions — many for “best in class.” Now, as the proprietor of his own establishment, Lloyd seeks to share his years of experience in his casual corner tasting room; to “create an educational environment where his guest’s would feel comfortable learning all aspects of his wines in a friendly, non-intimidating way.” One of the best ways to do that is to craft “un-intimidating” wines. And when it comes to the bold California Cabernet grape, “intimidating” is just what a lot of folks think. But sourcing from the proper location and knowing how to work with the fruit, Lloyd and the Corner 103 winemaking team have done just that…

My Corner: The Corner where I live

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Ammunition Wine 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon

In my experience, there are two major California Cab stereotypes: the overly-produced, mass-market red wine; or the mean, cranky old man who wants to stay in his bottle until he says he’s ready. Neither of these two extremes are absolutes by any means. You can scroll through this site and find a number of Cali Cabs that I’ve been able to enjoy straight out of the bottle, but still maintain a well-balanced complexity. Where the Ammunition Cabernet Sauvignon differs is in that latter bit. Well-balanced it is, complex it is not. And I mean this in the most complementary way possible. Here is an expression of the noble, nay — kingly — grape, that requires little thought and no pomp and circumstance. It’s an easy drinker, a companionate wine, a California Cabernet Sauvignon that (scroll all the way down) made me use the ‘f’-word…

What’s your Ammunition? Mine: dance

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Adobe Road 2013 Bavarian Lion Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Besides the fact that it has a cool name, Bavarian Lion Vineyard in the Knight’s Valley AVA (also a pretty awesome name) of Sonoma County is one of the most ideal spots for growing the heat-loving Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Here, in the crevice of the Vacas Mountain, the vineyard is unaffected by maritime influences from the Pacific Ocean. The warm climate combined with the less-fertile volcanic soils that make up the terroir means that the vines produce smaller berries rich with concentrated flavors — not unlike those found in France’s Bordeaux region, where Cab was first crowned king.

Learn more about Cabernet Sauvignon

Adobe Road crafts a wine that expresses the true nature of these grapes — austere in its youth, but with a deep-rooted maturity that means wine lovers can enjoy this Cabernet Sauvignon today and for many years to come.

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