Provided Notes:

Some believe that Cabernet Sauvignon should be experienced solo.”

To that assertion, our tasting panel members respond: “Nonsense!”  At least, they say that when the Cabernet in question is crafted by Alderwood Creek Vineyard.  Ever since it started making Cabernet, Alderwood Creek has taken a “food-friendly” approach to the stylistic decisions made in the cellar.  For that, our palates are eternally grateful.

With each new vintage, the winery is among the first to release it’s Cabernet Sauvignon.  That’s because it crafts Cab in a non-tannic style, so it’s ready to drink and enjoy upon release.  “Most Cabernet is made with aging in mind,” the Alderwood Creek vintner acknowledges.  “But I prefer drinking wine over aging it.”

The 2010 Alderwood Creek Cabernet is another in a growing string of stylistic success stories.  Engaging and accessible, it’s the perfect wine to enjoy with a grilled steak or beef tacos – while your other Cabs are aging.

Grape Composition: Cabernet Sauvignon and Other Red Varieties

Grape Source: Select Vineyards in Various California Growing Regions

Aromas and Flavors: Currant, Black Cherry, Vanilla and a Hint of Herbs

Aging Vessels: Assorted Oak Barrels

When to Drink: Now through 2015

Tasting Panel Score: 90

My notes:

The bouquet is deceptively fruity.  I was a bit worried that this was going to taste like old fruit punch.  It took me a couple of days to appreciate this wine.  I held off on reviewing this one because that first glass I had, while decent, wasn’t quite what I had anticipated, but I felt like there was potential there.  After decanting for a couple of days I revisited this bottle.  I’m glad I gave it a second chance.  This is one of the smoother Cabs I’ve had.  You can taste an initial burst of currant as the flavors wind down to hints of black cherry and herbs.  I wasn’t quite catching the vanilla until a few moments after I had swallowed a few sips.

I thought it complemented my turkey and swiss on wheat toast with lettuce and spicy brown mustard pretty well.  Not bad with a piece of chocolate either.  I don’t eat beef, and haven’t for something like 17 years now, but I can imagine this being exceptional with a nice rare grilled steak or carne asada tacos.

Would I buy this again? More than likely.  Especially if I was having people over and firing up the grill.  I might not eat beef, but I’ll cook anything as long as I have an excuse to grill.

On a scale of “this tastes like piss” to “oops, I just drank the whole bottle” I would give this a “I’m glad I didn’t give up after the first glass, because I just finished the bottle two days later.”

Final Grade: B-