Friday, March 10, 2017

A Little Cabernet With That Oak, Please

JaM Cellars stands for John and Michele, second-generation vintners who happen to run this Napa Valley wine biz.

The blurb says this wine is "all about the fruit," but it’s really mostly about the oak. Cellared and bottled in the California town of Acampo, the 2014 JaM hits the black keys, mainly.

It's dark to a fault, almost black in the glass and loaded with blackberry and black plum aromas. The nose also shows the oak that is used to chisel off the edges of this 15.1% abv wine. Sweet vanilla is the predominant aroma. It's also a big player on the palate, which maybe helps a high alcohol wine smooth out a bit, but it buries the grape. A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine should have plenty of Cab to spare, but here it's hiding behind a few staves of oak. It's pleasant enough, though, if you like - as Crosby, Stills and Nash said - "wooden music."

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