Just like a really cute/funny/inappropriate wine label, a big discount on a bottle of wine can lure me in cork, foil cutter and corkscrew. (You thought I was going to say "hook, line and sinker", didn't you? Well, this is not a fishing blog.) So when I saw that Concannon Vineyard's Cabernet Sauvignon (2010, 13.5%, Livermore Valley, CA) was on special from $18 a bottle to $9.99, I jumped at it. Actually I didn't jump, I just quietly placed a bottle in my shopping basket and thriftily walked on.
This Cab happens to be part of their Conservancy line of wines, which works to keep land in California as vineyards...forever. They explain in on their website as: "Conservancy winegrowers have placed their land into a legal trust that protects against development forever. The Conservancy wines preserve not only the land but a simpler way of life for future generations". Nice to think about a patch of land that will forever give us wine, isn't it?
And let's hope that this Cabernet Sauvignon keeps on coming. On the nose, it's a bright combination of strawberry and raspberry. The taste echos this a bit, but this time with darker flavors of cherry along with the strawberry. There is also a teeny bit of nutmeg and oak. It finishes a bit warm and the tannins are smooth and sort of spicy (a nice combination in my mouth). Way after the warmth goes away, you can taste the cherry again too. It would pair very nicely with one of my favorite meat dishes: lamb (which I have to sneak into the Winey family menu, since the Winey Daughter does not care for lamb). I happened to have some Gouda and Brie cheese on hand the night I tried this (trying to eat up all the perishables before we left on vacation) and it was wonderful with them, especially the Brie.
I'd say this is a big red wine, but for all it's "bigness", it's a very well behaved one. The tannins aren't cloying or drying, the warmth is offset by the deep flavors. I would buy it again, even if it weren't on sale (whoa, did I really just say that?). If you are newer to red wine, I'd say that it's a wine to work up to. But for the rest of us, don't work at it. Just dive right in.