Wine: Bouchon Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape: Cabernet sauvignon
Availability: Lee’s Discount Liquors, chain stores
In the glass: Bouchon Cabernet Sauvignon is a fine dark ruby-red color with a semi-opaque spinel-red core going out into a light pink-colored rim definition with medium viscosity.
On the nose: This is classically proportioned for the grape variety with nicely concentrated black currant juice, cassis pastilles, mint leaves, graphite, hints of spice box, sweet plums and fruit-driven cool minerals.
On the palate: This wine is immediately soft, with finely delineated crushed black currants, loganberries, crushed mint leaves, touches of sweet chewing tobacco and some measure of wood going into the light-bodied midpalate, and then that nice fruit-driven minerality kicks in again through the fine finish, leaving a pure taste of classic cassis at the end.
Odds and ends: It must be an auspicious start to 2014 when we open a new year with a wine review on the very first day. And what better way to commence this 15th year of exclusive wine reviews in the Las Vegas Review-Journal than with a delicious and classic-styled cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley. Bouchon Winery, not to be confused or associated with the famous restaurant chain by the same name from superchef Thomas Keller, is a relative newcomer in the wine business. Nevertheless, this is certainly an interesting offering, in that it is very much like a fine, lean Bordeaux wine with its relatively (for California) low alcohol and classically proportioned qualities. It is rare to find 100 percent cabernet sauvignon wines in California nowadays, because wineries can blend as much as 25 percent of pretty much any other grape variety into the wine and still get away with calling it cabernet sauvignon. As a result, Bouchon delivers a much lighter-bodied style of wine that still manages to please the palate. This is a lovely clean wine that delivers classicism in the bottle for less than $10. Try it with a nice New Year’s roast with baked potato and au jus. Drink it now through 2017.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at email@example.com.