Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week

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2015 Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon ($20)

This Cabernet from Hess Select is from California's North Coast. The wine is produced from Hess estate vineyards in Napa along with grapes from Lake County and Mendocino County.

Hess states that "The rolling hillsides and benchlands offer prime vineyard sites producing flavorful fruit with layers of agreeable acids and balanced tannins."  I would certainly agree.

This wine is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petite Sirah, 4% Malbec, 2% Syrah, 2% Merlot and 2% Zinfandel. It's aged in 35% new French oak and American oak for 18 months.

The wine maker, Dave Guffy, describes this wine as having "Bright and vivid aromas of roasted vanilla, mocha and baking spices meet layers of blackberry and ripe cherry flavors."

To find all these wonderful flavors in a California North Coast Cab for around $20 is a great find!

This Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon is another winning value feature in Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week that, as usual, is affordable and attainable. Look for this one! You will enjoy it. Cheers!


Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission: I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sample Provided by Donna White Communications

Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week

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2015 Thomas Allen Selections Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon ($7)

Generally, when I see a California Cab under $10 I don't pay too much attention. But this Cab is from Lodi, a region I really like. And, while Lodi isn't exactly the best-known region in California for Cabernet Sauvignon, I decided to give it a try. And I'm really glad I did.

It turns out that Thomas Allen is not one person but a pair of third generation wine grape growers; Thomas Michael Stokes and Allen Lombardi.  The Stokes have a family tradition of growing exceptional wine grapes having planted their first 45 acres of Zinfandel near Lodi in 1954.

This Cab is rich and full-bodied with flavors of blackberry and black cherry, with hints of spices. The oak aging also led to subtle flavors of vanilla and chocolate.

The Behind the Cork™ Wine of the Week is all about being affordable and attainable. The is certainly great value wine and I only hope it remains widely available.  Keep your eye out for this one and pick up a few.  I certainly did. And am headed back for more!

Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week

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2014 Hess Collection Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon ($65)

Wow! Napa turns out great Cabs, and this is one of them. This blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec and 3% Petite Verdot yields a bold yet somehow delicate collection of dark fruit flavors. Its oak aging weaves in hints of chocolate, vanilla and caramel. And the finish. Oh my!  I think it's still going.  This wine has an amazingly long and velvety smooth finish like nothing I've experienced lately.

If you're looking for a great Cab, this one will delight!


Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission:  I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sample Provided by Donna White Communications

Behind the Cork ™ - Wines of the Week

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At this point, one would assume that a 2015 Napa Cab is a bit too young to be at its peak. And, while that may be so, this Cab is already terrific. With aromas of plum, fig and raisin, and it's oak aging provides wonderful vanilla and chocolate undertones.

This Cab has unusually bright fruit flavors, is super smooth and easy. This one should only get better with age, which means it will go from terrific now to spectacular with time. 

This is one that is worth getting a case and enjoying a bottle each year to experience its exceptional development. Cheers!


Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission:  I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sample Provided by Donna White Communications

Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week

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2014 Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon ($13)

After starting Joseph Carr Wines in 2005, Joseph went on to launch Josh Cellars in 2007. The 'Josh' label is named for his father, Joseph, who's friends called him Josh.

This Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles is bold and rich with distinctive flavors from oak ageing.  Probably could have used some time in the decanter. But, a nice everyday wine that paired well with a steak and mushrooms.