Monday, June 16

California Cabernet Sauvignon


Over the weekend we had a celebratory dinner in honor of Father’s Day, a fantastic report card and our up coming 15th wedding anniversary. Dinner was filet mignon, asparagus and creamed potatoes followed by crème brûlée. It was so delicious, but without question the highlight of the dinner was the 2004 Alexis Estate Red. It is a big wine with tons of yummy dark berry flavors and an excellent structure. Alexis, from Swanson Vineyards, was exceptionally luscious and fitting for the occasion.

The wine got me to thinking about our very memorable honeymoon spent touring Napa and Sonoma during the summer of 1993. A few favorites included Oakville Grocery, Ravenswood, Domaine Chandon and The Hess Collection.


Napa Valley is unquestionably America's reigning region for Cabernet Sauvignon. In terms of quality, production and reputation, this is California's world-class wine. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to enjoy some incredible California wines, including a 1999 Opus One, Spottswoode Estate and Stag's Leap Cask 23.

In my opinion, Swanson’s Alexis wine is a wonderful example of a great California Cabernet Sauvignon and easily ranks up there with some of the very best I have had the pleasure of enjoying. It is also an Oakville Cab—ground zero for Napa Cabernet. Year after year Oakville produces some of the most incredible wines in the valley. One wine I am still waiting to taste is Caymus Special Selection.


If you are looking for a great summertime read, pick up a copy of Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine, a great retelling of the 1976 Paris Tasting. Another book that I still love and adore is my well-worn copy of Lee Bailey's California Country Wine Cooking. It’s a great book and it can be purchased for as little as five cents on Amazon.

I do wish it were easier to get California wines in Scotland. Any personal favorites? Do tell!

12 comments:

James said...

Mayacamas and a 1996 Dunn Howell Mountain Cab was very memorable.

ALL THE BEST said...

James - lucky you!!

Pigtown-Design said...

Lee Bailey... i used to have all of his southern cookbooks. they were just wonderful. thanks for the memory.

Anonymous said...

2004 Mount Eden Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is great value for the $.

ALL THE BEST said...

I do too Meg, I love his books. I miss him!

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks for the tip anonymous.

Tracey said...

I am really into Spanish reds right now. They seem to be a bit lighter and fruitier for the summer months. I will have to check out your book recommendations. Thanks!

Adrienne said...

What a fun post. I love Ravenswood myself.

girl meets glamour said...

I am a big Napa/Sonoma wino...let's see...I love La Crema, Cakebread, Chalk Hill, Acacia has a great pinot! Okay, I could keep going, but great post Ronda...

~Kate

katiedid said...

I do feel lucky to have Napa just a hop, skip away!

Ronda, I am officially "tagging" you! You do such wonderful profiles, so I know you will do one about yourself justice! Come on over to catch the rules/questions.

Mélanie said...

One of my good friend is Philippe Faure Brac ,one of the world best wine waiter, I was going to advise you to buy his book called " comment gouter un vin" but unfortunatly it has not been translated.I'm going to check because I'm sure you would love this book

Heidi said...

Mount Veeder Cab is my absolute favorite. 2004 if possible, but 2005 is quite good as well. The topsoil has washed away from these steep hills, causing the vine's roots to have to penetrate deeper and deeper into the soil for minerals, producing a broad and spicy spectrum of tastes I haven't enjoyed in many other Napa wines.