B-Side Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

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Tasting Notes

Very dark and dense in appearance.  Aromas of smoke, new wood/vanilla, black currant, blackberry compote, and dark plum, all sweetly ripe.  There are also baking spice and mocha notes.  The wine is big and bold in the mouth, but still shows a certain restraint.  The ripe fruit flavors run from beginning to end, joined by a touch of vanilla, chocolate, blackstrap molasses, and fine working tannins.  Medium plus in body and length with notable complexity.

This is one of 13 brands made by Don Sebastiani and Sons, a family that traces its winemaking roots in Sonoma to 1904.  The name is a reference to the “B side” of a record, less well known and often less conventional.

The North Coast is a large and diverse appellation that includes Napa, the source of 82% of the grapes for this wine.  Most comes from the higher elevation Pope and Gordon Valleys, with diverse soils, most of which are iron rich (as the saying goes, “Red dirt for red grapes”).  These regions are known for fruit with distinctive flavors and rich, round tannins.  Fruit also comes from Rutherford and Oakville on the valley floor, adding plush fruit and supple tannins.  The remainder of the grapes come from Sonoma’s Alexander Valley, another cooler climate site.  2016 was a great growing season, following winter rains that broke a long drought.  There was no frost at flowering, and no heat spikes marred the summer.  It was a cooler than average, sunny vintage with very cool evenings, allowing for even ripening.

Grapes are fermented in tank by variety and each lot is aged 14 months, 40% in new French oak from coopers François Frères and Radoux; the balance ages in seasoned French oak.  The lots are blended, and the wine rests in bottle.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Cheese, Grilled preparations, Mushrooms, Pizza, Red Meat, Roasted Root Vegetables, Slow-smoked Barbeque/BBQ Sauce, Vegetables

California , North Coast
Grape Varietal:
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Syrah/Shiraz, 15% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec, 1% Petite Sirah
$22.00 each