Face-off: Taking one for the team with $ California Roots 2019 reds: **+ Cabernet Sauvignon and *** Red Blend

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for California Roots wines.

By way of background: I've done a recent tasting of California Roots Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019, (reviewed here), and have wanted to do a comparison with the similarly bargain-priced California Roots Red Blend, 2019.  So, let's take one for the team and do this as a head-to-head bargain-wine face-off!

(Pulled in from tasting notes in March, 2022, with consistent reactions in April, 2022:)

Inspired by California Roots Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019: We're rustling up a couple of quick burgers on the outdoor grill for lunch before heading out for the afternoon.

Specs: This cabernet sauvignon is finished at 13.5% alcohol and first sampled three years from vintage date, in March, 2022.

In the glass: Deep ruby red, translucent throughout.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bright light purple hues with some black cherry and blackberry hints.

On the palate:   Bright initial fruity touch, but then brings a light and pleasant sandy element.  Not solid tannins, but a little bit of grit. Finishes quick, light and clean.

In summary: After much consideration, the California Roots Cabernet Sauvignon just fails to tip the scales to three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, which would have meant we would actually be willing to seek out this bargain cabernet sauvignon for an occasional repeat performance.  Instead, the wine rates a solid two stars with a massive plus for its clean balance.  The red blend from California Roots  seemed to offer a somewhat stronger showing than this single varietal cab.  Due to its solid quality and miniscule price point, this offering comes very close to - but just misses - touching best value status.


Inspired by the favored contender in this face-off, California Roots, Red Blend, 2019: Planning for a fun late-afternoon visit from some friends and relatives, good conversation likely.

Specs: This unspecified blend of red grapes is finished, like the cabernet, at 13.5% alcohol.  It is first being sampled three years from vintage date, in April, 2022.  An earlier 2018 vintage of the red blend was tasted one year ago, in March, 2021, and is reviewed here

In the glass: Deep black cherry, almost opaque in the center.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows deep black cherry fruit, some cinnamon spices and purple floral highlights.  Deep and bright at the same time. 

On the palate:  A solid wash of sweet tannins and dark red fruit at first, brings a little bit of sandy grit along.  Settles with very lightly-sweetened red cherries and just a touch of acid surround, which fully balances the sweetness and leads to a clean medium-length finish. 

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, and like its 2018 vintage sibling, reaches "best value" status on our scale.  

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