Sometimes I write about a vintage that may or may not be available. Sorry, but my collection is large and I prefer to cellar my wines for some time. Last weekend I had a 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon from Shale Canyon Wines. I actually helped bottle this wine. Like any newly bottled wine, the wine needs time to settle in its new environment. After two years (give or take a few months) I felt it was time to pop the cork, so I opened a bottle this past weekend to enjoy with pasta smothered in a red sauce I made from scratch using my father’s tomatoes—not to mention oregano—from his garden. The sauce was fresh, with bright—yet not overpowering—acidity and a touch of sweetness.
The Cab, which had a gorgeous ruby hue, was produced from grapes grown at Pedregal Vineyard in Paicines, California in San Benito County. Upon first sip, I picked up a rather tootie fruity flavor—heavy on the cherry—which is a bit too fruity for my palate. Knowing the winemaker and his winemaking style, however, I had faith that this wine would deliver. So, I left the bottle uncorked on the sink for a couple of hours while I made dinner. Decanting is exactly what this wine needed. That initial blast of cherry gave way to essence of tobacco and licorice, complimented by a hint of cinnamon and damp earth—all of which was enveloped in rich, dark bush berry fruit and dark plum flavors. Tannins were soft and the finish was long, creating a harmonious paring with my pasta sauce.
You might still be able to find the 2008 vintage in retail. If not, the 2009 vintage is currently available.