- 2018 Technique Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California – $5.99 (@Trader Joe’s, California)
This was one of those wines that stopped me in my tracks during my most recent “recon” at the Trader Joe’s wine department. After all, Alexander Valley is THE appellation for Cabernet Sauvignon in Sonoma (the critically acclaimed – and costly – juice that goes into Silver Oak comes from here) and the price! It appeared to be too good to be true.
But my instincts were right…this is legit CabSauv.
Think of this as a “summer weight” Cabernet. It’s not as massive and muscular as some, but it is still a good representation of the grape, and a delightful sippper for supper.
This a medium body Cabernet with great fruit ﬂavors and smooth structured tannins. It has aromas of black cherry, cassis, plum, slight blueberry, vanilla, oak and chocolate. It is fruit forward with lush ﬂavors, nice balance and a long silky ﬁnish.
Perfect for summery food pairings: steaks, burgers, all things grilled and BBQ’ed.
Maybe part of why this wine is softer and silkier than many Cabs lies in the blend. In addition to its composition of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, the winemaker added Malbec, Petite Verdot, and Zinfandel.
The result is a winner.
And while you “can’t judge a book by its cover,” what we in the wine trade call the packaging (labels, bottle, cork and capsule) make this wine look like it sells for much more than $5.99. Since it tastes like it sells for much more than $5.99, you can safely pour it next time you have friends over for dinner, which may be in 2021!
This is not the first time we have been impressed with a wine bearing the Technique label. You can find our review of one of their Chardonnays here. This also isn’t the first time we have reviewed an Alexander Valley Cabernet, as we pitted one from Trader Joe’s against one from Costco in this review. Note however the latter two were nearly twice the price as this wine, and this $5.99 version is the best of the three.
The Alexander Valley AVA in Sonoma is over 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean but is a warmer climate growing region since it is blocked from the sea by mountains. The Russian River runs through the middle of the valley and the river (which does open to and empty into the Pacific) gives the AVA cool mornings and even cooler nights to offset the warm summer days. In other words, the AVA has “the right stuff” for making happy Cabernet Sauvignon wine grapes.
Happy grapes, make happy wine, make happy wine drinkers. Especially at $5.99. Happy hunting.