Wine: Interlude Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Grapes: cabernet sauvignon (85 percent), merlot (10 percent), barbera (5 percent)
Region: Napa Valley, Calif.
In the glass: Interlude Cabernet wine is a fairly deep ruby-red color with an opaque appearance, going out into a deep pinkish-red rim definition and surprisingly high viscosity.
On the nose: There is excellent red berry fruit at first, then crushed brambleberry, loganberry juice, black currant crush, vanilla, oak references and raspberry jam, with just a hint of underlying crushed pepper and mineral character.
On the palate: It is a lovely rounded blast of dark berry fruit with dominance by raspberries, blueberries and boysenberries, then the very fine structure in the wine goes into a soft, lush fruit midpalate with lots of berries, especially cassis, then minerals, pepper and aniseed hints. The finish is wonderfully supple with no obtrusive tannins and nice lingering blackberry, juicy cherry and licorice finale.
Odds and ends: Lakeside Wine Co. owner Dan Capp is descended from a line of farmers in Napa with an influence and ancestry from Italy, as is the case for so many other settlers in this fertile part of California. The farm was converted to viticulture, producing its first crop in 1973. The main vineyard is called Twin Creeks Vineyard, and that is where the fruit for Interlude Cabernet comes from. Blended with a bit of merlot and barbera, the result is an imminently drinkable and juicy wine that overachieves at this price. It would be a marvelous companion to a set of lamb chops right off the grill. It can use about an hour open before drinking just to get its bearings, and should drink well through 2013.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.