Last week I spent a few days in California to take part in Premiere Napa Valley, which featured — what else — cabernet sauvignon and cabernet blends. But even in “Cabernet Country,” most of these big reds are blends, although the lead grape remains cab.
This week, we feature three such wines from Napa along with Bordeaux varieties from Chile, Australia, and France.
Flora Springs Napa Valley “Trilogy” 2012 ($54). Very smooth, with very floral berry flavors; hints of cream cheese in the finish and just-right tannins. It needs decanting or a few more years in bottle to achieve complexity.
Mount Veeder Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon 2012 ($34). Delicious cab that tastes the way a cab, classically, is supposed to taste — dark cherry melding with almost neutral-tasting oak flavors, dried savory herbs, and integrated tannins.
Franciscan Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon 2012 ($22). Enjoyable rounded cherry flavors blended into mellow oak. Good structure and depth of flavor with mild tannins.
Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo “Devil’s Collection” reserve Chile red wine ($12). Pleasing without being overly complex — light cherry fruit, smooth texture, and good balancing acidity.
Paul Bertrand “Crocus” Cahors malbec ($40). A delicious wine with warm but fresh cherries, integrated oak, and mild tannins — a Cahors that is capable of competing with trendier Argentina malbecs.
Tintara McLaren Vale cabernet sauvignon ($18). Good textbook cab flavors of dark cherries, blackberries, and cassis, with walnut-ty tannins and even a few green stemmy notes around the edges.