2004. California. $12.00 for 1.5L
You know how I said I haven’t met many Cabernet Sauvignons that I didn’t like? Well, I think I just did. Or maybe, almost just did. I mean, it’s a pretty close call….
For some reason, I expected this wine to taste similar to a Barefoot Cabernet. As it turns out, not so much.
The color is a dark, thick red to almost brownish-purple and the smell is of dark berries and something … vegetably? At first, I also thought it smelled a tiny bit like lavender, which really impressed me. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled a hint of lavender before, but I honestly thought I detected it here. It was nice and it made me happy.
Anyway, the vegetably smell continued to bother me, so I took a sip.
Makes sense, right?
At first, the taste was okay, but as I had a few more sips, that vegetable flavor really started to come through and overtake the fruity, lavendery pleasantness. The vegetable taste was like rotting green veggies…. Yep, that’s what I tasted.
Also—and this might be tied in to the vegetable flavor—it tasted like it had been accidentally oxidized. As in, it tasted like the wine had been left open for a few days before someone decided to seal it with a cork. When I realized this, I had one of those surreal, creative-fiction experiences where in my mind, I saw this poor bottle of wine sitting in the bottom of a vintner’s cellar somewhere in Napa California, uncorked and shivering in a dark corner one Monday morning. Along comes the minimum wage employee* who had left work early the Friday before and sees the neglected bottle of wine. “Crud!” says the employee (or something akin to such language), “I totally forgot to seal that one.” Looking around and confirming no witnesses are present, the employee stealthily pops a cork in the wine, seals it with foil and scoots it into the appropriate bin. For him, all is well with the world.
Well, that bottle of wine made it to my living room where I sat on the couch, mouthful of vegetable with hints of lavender, and witnessed this injustice in my mind’s eye. Employee person in Napa, hear this: Karma.
The reason why I can’t say I just hated this wine is because I did enjoy the other fruity, lavender-like flavors. And I have to be fair: twelve bucks for a 1.5 liter of wine is a good deal and you can’t expect Cabernet nirvana. However, the vegetable/oxidized sensation bothered me to a point where I think it actually turned my stomach a little, but this is the thing: I was tasting the Coastal Ridge Cabernet with another person who didn’t seem to detect this less-than-pleasing nuance. He said he thought it tasted pretty good.
I looked him over closely and determined that he didn’t appear to be suffering from a cold, so I have to pay his sense of taste and smell at least some semblance of respect.
Bottom line: I didn’t really care for this wine. However, seeing the Napa employee was kind of fun, so if you’re bored …
*Disclaimer: Referring to a “minimum wage employee” is not snobbery on antiwinesnob’s part; creators of antiwinesnob have themselves spent the majority of their working lives as minimum wage employees and so can relate this vision as a testament to their own experiences while within that paradigm. Furthermore, aniwinesnob has no actual knowledge of the goings-on at any wineries located in Napa and has related their creative vision for entertainment purposes only.