Wine: Spiral Wines Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Grapes: Cabernet sauvignon (89 percent), merlot (11 percent)
Region: Napa Valley, Calif.
In the glass: Spiral Wines Cabernet Sauvignon is a deeply opaque blood-ruby red color with a blackish core going out into a fine purplish-crimson red to light fuchsia rim definition with medium viscosity.
On the nose: The wine features extracted crushed black fruits, blackberry liqueur, creme de cassis, cherry concentrate, creme brulee, vanilla beans, eucalyptus, black licorice, mocha, spice box and minerals. Quite a lot of impressions and depth going on here.
On the palate: There is a real soft front-load of crushed black berry fruits with underlying vanilla tones, boysenberry sorbet, creme de cassis, stewed black currants, jammy cherries, minerality and aniseed notes. The midpalate shows nice balance with surprisingly supple tannin structure, soft fruit components, hints of oak and minerals going into a rather impressive and supple finish, giving off yet more fruit and herbal character.
Odds and ends: Given the high cost of land, fruit and production in America’s most coveted vineyards, how does one go about making a bottle of really delicious cabernet sauvignon for this ridiculous price? It could be because a famous winery sold off a few thousand cases of this delicious wine, which was bottled exclusively for Trader Joe’s. I love no-brainers and if the year gets under way in this fashion, I am already one happy wine-loving consumer. It also doesn’t hurt that 2009 was a great vintage in Napa and this certainly makes a mark on this bottling. I can see Spiral Wines Cabernet Sauvignon being a perfect companion for steak and french fries. Drink it now through 2014 when it will peak out. It is highly recommended and likely to sell very fast.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.