Cabernet Sauvignon, The King of Red Wines

The Madison Tasters Club is a monthly tasting group comprised of non-industry, non-professional consumers of wine. The group is moderated by a professional Sommelier who selects the evening’s wines. Each month the group will taste six selections with a specific theme. The goal of the Madison Tasters Club is to educate, evaluate and create tasting notes to share the consumer’s perspective with a broader audience on the Bottle Pros blog.

The fourth gathering of the Madison Tasters Club was on January 30th with the topic, Cabernet Sauvignon, The King of Red Wines. The group was asked specific questions about each wine regarding visual, aromatic and palate impressions. Notes have been compiled based on the group’s impressions with the most common answers used as well as a few quotes from participants.

Carpineto, “Farnito” Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Technical Data: Fermentation takes place in individual tanks for the grapes of each vineyard, with controlled temperature maceration on the skins. In the spring, once the malolactic fermentation is complete, the separate crus are assembled and the wine placed in small oak barrels where it remains until the following January. After bottling this Tuscan Cabernet Sauvignon is bottle aged in temperature- controlled cellars for at least another eight months before its release.

Group Impressions: The wine poured garnet in color and showed aromas of red fruits with a bit of smoke and black pepper on the nose. The palate revealed sour cherry, blackberry and currant fruit, accented by hints of vanilla and tobacco. The wine is easy drinking and relatively light for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Quotes :

“It is light and smooth.”

“Interesting to taste 100% Cabernet from Tuscany.”

“Soft and Comfortable.”

Rust en Vrede, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Technical Data: From Stellenbosch Africa, this Cabernet fermented in open top fermentation vats with the cap manually punched down 4 times a day. Fermentation is followed by 10 days maceration. Malolactic fermentation took place in oak barrels and the wine was matured for 20 months in 100% French oak barrels. Seventy-five percent of the barrels used for maturation are new oak.

Group Impressions: A medium bodied Cabernet that offers scents of Plum and Black Cherry on the nose with a hint of bell pepper and oak spice. The palate follows through with ripe plum fruit and a thread of herbal nuance.

Quotes :

“Good mouthfeel, good balanced tannins”

“Very Interesting, pleasant, complex nose.”

“It is fruity, has legs, and a smooth finish.”

Alexander Valley Vineyards, Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Technical Data: The fruit for this wine is sourced from a small Certified Organic vineyard, owned and tended by Alexander Valley Vineyards. The fruit is all from the Alexander Valley AVA and sees 26 months ageing in French and American oak barrels before release.

Group Impressions: Ruby red in color, the 2014 Alexander Valley Vineyards Organic Cabernet has a beautiful, pronounced bouquet of red fruits with touches of vanilla, tobacco and cedar on the nose. The palate is round and balanced with blackberry and cherry fruit characters. In the glass the wine unfolds revealing hints of cocoa powder and chocolate.

Quotes :

“Love this! Could drink it all night. Yummy.”

“Rounded easy drinking, nice finish, smooth.”

“Well Balanced, big finish.”

Chateau Ste Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Technical Data: Cold Creek Vineyard is located in Washington State’s Columbia Valley AVA and is one of the oldest vineyards in the region (planted in 1973). The wine spends 22 months in 47% new French oak, 27% new American oak and 26% neutral oak.

Group Impressions:  Ruby to garnet in color, this wine has a bouquet that is marked with blackberry fruit, violet and touches of vanilla toast. The mouthfeel is smooth and the wine expresses a range of red and dark berries, black pepper and dusty tannins with a lingering finish.

Quotes :

“Gorgeous color, very smooth in the mouth.”

“Soft, round, full, great balance.”

Justin Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Technical Data:  This Paso Robles AVA Cabernet was barrel aged for 14 months in American oak (25% new).

Group Impressions:  This full-bodied Cabernet has a floral bouquet of violets with dark berry aromas and subtle oak. The palate is loaded with blackberry, black cherry and boysenberry accented with pepper spice. The wine is full bodied but approachable.

Quotes :

“Smooth, well rounded, very drinkable.”

“Not overly tannic, very approachable.”

“Sweet vanilla and great smoothness.”

Mollydooker Cabernet Sauvignon, “The Maitre’D” 2017

Technical Data: This Australian Cabernet reigns from McLaren Vale. It was barrel fermented and aged in 86% American oak; 14% French oak 34% new; 45% 1yr old; 16% 2yr old.

Group Impressions:  This wine is BIG, with abundant fruit and structured tannins. The nose is a mix of red and dark berries with hints of forest and smoky oak. The wine is loaded with ripe plum characters and a complex mix of bakery spice and herbal nuances.

Quotes :

“It’s interesting, complex.”

“BBQ here we come!”

“This is a huge wine, drink with huge food. The Flintstones kind of wine.”