There are two trends that I hope will develop steam in 2008: the rise of the blend in American wine and restaurant wine at reasonable prices both in bottle and by the glass. This wine touches both of these trends with Cabernet Sauvignon making up 82% of the blend joined by 10% Merlot, 5% Syrah and 3% Petite Sirah. It’s also targeted exclusively at restaurants in the U.S. with a suggested retail price of $30 a bottle and $10 per glass.
Winemaker Melissa Bates has created a rich and balanced wine ready for enjoyment now and, unlike many California red wines these days, not overpowering to food. Another interesting differentiator is the great design of the bottle graphics making this an impressive choice on the table. I hope to see more wines targeted at restaurants that are a cut above most choices in this price range.
Silver Palm, Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast 2005 ($30/sample) – Very dark purple in color with aromas of black currant, fennel and cedar. Spicy black cherry and currant flavors with fresh bell pepper, cracked black pepper and some vanilla on the finish. Seems more like a Chilean Merlot or CarmenÃƒÂ¨re than a Cali Cab but still very nicely done.
Natural cork closure