Sunday, December 26, 2010


Avalon California Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Avalon Winery makes two Cabs - and that has been it until recently.  They say they have now released a new Merlot.  There is already a Napa Valley Cab and this one, the California blend.

The notes from winemaker Alex Cose indicate that Avalon mixes 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot grapes from different vineyards in Mendocino, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Alexander Valley, and Lodi.  The wine shows a restrained 13.8% abv.  Aging occurs during 18 months in French and American oak with malolactic fermentation occurring there.

The color of this Cab is medium dark, with light showing through even at the core.  On the nose - after a swirl - the dark cherry aromas immediately give way to a cherry cola aspect.  There is a slight smokiness and some spicy notes come through as well.  I guessed there was Merlot involved from the moment I smelled the wine.

The taste is juicy and fairly tannic.  It’s nice and dry without too much puckering of the mouth.  The wine is dark and earthy on the palate, with a touch of graphite accenting the dark cherry and plum fruit flavors.  After a little time in the glass, flavors of cassis become the dominating profile.  This is particularly true two and three nights after opening.  The finish is a little shorter than I would like.

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