Monday, May 31, 2010


Avalon Napa has always been one of my favorite go-to wines when a customer was looking for a Napa Valley Cabernet (but didn’t want to spend $25+ for a really nice bottle). I remember that while enjoying my first Avalon Napa I thought it was a straight California Cabernet, but after a bit of research I discovered that it was 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot with a tiny (4%) hint of Syrah. I LOVE blends! They truly give you the best of each of the varietals – and none of the ‘bad’… For instance, a straight Cabernet unblended, is very tannic and often described as astringent, or having a ‘black tea’ aspect. While Merlot on its own can be (at times) too soft, too fruity, too round, and for many Cab drinkers, Merlot is just a bit too “too.” But, when you bring these grapes together in the bottle you create a marriage of the structure, power and firmness of the Cabernet with the silky, supple fruit of the Merlot – Ahhh, a marriage made in Napa! But, what of the Syrah? What does it bring to the bottle? I’m glad you asked – Syrah is one of the four most tannic (and acidic) grapes produced today, but when judiciously blended, it imparts a whisper of spice and blackberry to the mix – and what marriage doesn’t need a little spice?! $16 @WM

Hey, it’s not just me… Even Parker likes it:
Rating: 87 “Sweet aromas of blackcurrants, smoke, damp earth, licorice, and spice. Medium bodied and pure... It has been at least twenty years since I have had a Napa Cabernet this good for under $15 a bottle.”
—Robert Parker (August, 2008)


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