Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wines I'm Drinking: 2005 VJB "V" Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Tonight I opened a bottle of the 2005 "V" Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon bottling from VJB, the winery that is building that large new tasting room next door to CafĂ© Citti on Highway 12, near Kenwood. This was one of the first wineries I encountered when I moved to Sonoma County, in 2000. I very much liked VJB's "Dante," a blend of Cabernet and Sangiovese, which sold at that time for a very reasonable $18 at Whole Foods. In fact, I planted Sangiovese and Cabernet in my own backyard because I liked the "Dante" so much. The "V" wines have never seemed as interesting to me; they have tended to be overripe, too alcoholic, and too much lacking in tannin and acidity for my taste, but I went into this with an open mind. Tasting notes follow.

The wine is a deep pruney purple-black, showing a little age in the garnet tinge to the edge of the wine when tilted in the glass. Ripe fruit and brandy-like scents on the nose. Something suggestive of Vermouth as well--roots, or herbs, perhaps. Campari almost. Black cherries. Substantial on the palate. A trifle "hot." Again with something suggestive of roots or bitters. Black cherries and chocolate. Very soft, with light tannins. Overall, a ripe, velvety smoothness, but with a slightly bitter "medicinal" note on a moderately long finish offset by lingering fruity sweetness. Has an almost port-like quality. Rich, full, attractive, but not as complex as I'd expect from a wine at this price point (probably around $40 or so). The wine has improved compared with examples I've tasted when much younger, but I still prefer a Cabernet Sauvignon with more tannin, more of that Cabernet grassiness, a little more acidity, less overtly ripe fruit, and more complexity--in other words, Cabernet Sauvignon with better balance and a more European flavor profile--a matter of taste, naturally.

[Update: Shortly after this, I opened a bottle of the 2001 "V" Cabernet Sauvignon, and it had many of those characteristics--better balance, primarily. I enjoyed the 2001 wine very much. Worth seeking out, if it's still available anywhere. It appears to be drinking beautifully right now.]

(I have no financial connection with any producer or retailer of wine.)
For more wine reviews, use the Wines I'm Drinking label.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this useful Article with us about "V" wines. I also like these wines very much I hope you will share such more Articles with us. We also provide best wines in Sonoma. If u think Where To Taste Wine In Sonoma. Don't worry come taste and enjoy wine parties in sonoma.


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