I don’t want to be Australian-ist (?), but when I saw that this Cabernet Sauvignon was an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, I didn’t even take a first look at the vintage. I knew I was in for something bright, fun, and ready to drink now. Besides, what could go wrong with a bottle that says “smile” in such large font?
“Simple ingredients done right.” I’m sure a number of chefs have said those words, but in my mind I hear them whispered by the gentle giant Marco Pierre White. I say these words today because I’m celebrating Laurel Glen Vineyard, a winery whose name is synonymous with Sonoma County Cab simply because (outside of one current release Sauvignon Blanc) that is all they do. They’ve chosen their ingredient, and they’ve done it — to perfection.
It may seem trite to some big name bloggers to feature a “celebrity” winemaker. And, indeed, there are those celebrities with so much cash to spend that they’ll simply slap their name on a label of pretty much any product. So, it would stand to reason that a celebrity-named wine would taste as artificial as Hollywood looks. Well, Yao Ming isn’t from Hollywood and if you know anything about him, you know that he’s actually a gentle-spoken, if not shy, individual. The Yao Family Wines 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon speaks, not of Yao’s social status — but of a young wine-personality on the brink of great ideas.
I saved this wine. Saved and saved and saved until I was so antsy to try it, I basically threw a party for it. Ok, not really. But it was two good friends’ birthday and I wanted to pour a wine that a) represents a specific piece of California wine country and a piece of California history and b) showcases all that I’ve learned and come to appreciate during my latest wine studies. Who better than Grgich? What better than a Napa Cab? Flatout — no one and nothing.
I picked up this Kunde Cab around the same time I picked up their 2014 Chardonnay. Initially intrigued by a well-known Sonoma family name, I soon realized they have a good rep for a reason. So with such a good experience with their white wine, I was eager to bust open a bottle of red. I’ll tell you right now that the level of complexity in this wine is astronomical. But don’t be to eager to bust as I did. When it comes to Kunde Cab, patience is a virtue.