Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Updated Review: ***+ Oak Slope Vintner's Select Cabernet Sauvignon, California, 2009

Find prices and retail availability for bargain California cabernet sauvignon.

By way of background: California is certainly a noted location for cabernet sauvignon.  This cab comes with no regional designation, and in fact is vinted by Stevenswood Cellars, though corked with E2 Family Vineyard cork, and distributed as part of the Stevenswood Wine Club. 

Initial review , May, 2011: This is Oak Slope Vintner's Select Cabernet Sauvignon, California, 2009,  finished at 13.9% alcohol.

In the glass: Medium red.

On the nose: Poured cool with aeration and swirled vigorously, shows shy but classic cabernet fruit, with definite oak elements.   From the aroma, seems like this will be somewhat light but with a bit of character.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a quite perky yet solid mid-palate fruit, bringing dry black cherry laced in tannins.  Brings along solid depth, full blackberry fruit and gentle tannin and acid robes.  Finish is moderate and balanced.  Could age another year or two as well.  Stevenswood asks that the wine be given a 20 minute decant, so I will honor that as well and update.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with plus for pleasure and depth on the palate.

Following 20 minute decant in flat-bottomed decanter:  The nose shows a bit more red berry and cinnamon.  On the palate, the cherry fruit has opened and sweetened.  Tannins seem softer.  Agree with the recommendation for a brief decant.  Moves solidly into the 3+ rating camp.  Can't assess whether this is a good value or not, because the Stevenswood wine club bundles wines, and Oak Slope Cabernet Sauvignon seems to have no current retail benchmarks.

With even longer decant, two days in partially filled bottle kept cool: Striking oily notes on the nose now, along with some mahogany shoe polish. Intriguing. An even nicer balance has emerged on the palate, with the bright red currants broadening out with riper blackberry overtones, and softly yielding tannins.

Updated review, over a year later,  June, 2012:  Deep red and burgundy in the glass.  Consistent nose.  The palate shows almost exactly the same notes.  Doesn't need that additional year of aging now.  Solid offering.

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Find prices and retail availability for bargain California cabernet sauvignon.

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