"The intersection where great wines meet reasonable prices"



Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Call me a Cab please, take me to 2006 Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon in SBC


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Getting a cab in some cities and some situations can be down right difficult, but to be honest gone are the days of showing some leg, or waving umbrellas to grab a cabbies attention. But there you're standing on the sidewalk, facing traffic and . . . nothing. Geez what do have to do to get a "Cab"?  Many folks on that same crowded corner maybe looking at you wondering to themselves, what are you doing flailing about? Perhaps you're thinking, "duh, I'm obviously waiting for a Cab". But why won't they stop?

With everyone [clamoring masses] standing on a corner next to you it can be difficult to find a good Cab, one that is clean, with good structure, paneled with well integrated French Oak, plush leather accents bound around some dark fruits, with a bouquet of cedar, cigar box, and currant, which is ready to drink now but will develop further with age. You have to figure out a way to flag this kind of Cab [talking vino now] down, what to do, wave your hand at them or something or should you whistle, jump up and down scream "hey cabbieeeee?"  A possible solution for you just maybe to read a blog like mine or one of the many others out there, see my blog roll down to the right. Blogs are a great source for getting the skinny on great tasting juice at reasonable prices.

Most of those methods mentioned above may or may not be effective for hailing a cab to your next destination, however when you're are looking for a wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon you have no further to look than the one I'm reviewing for you today. But if you'd like to do more shopping, you will ultimately have to read some great blogs, walk down many wine store aisles, go to myriad tasting, do some spitting, pouring out and yes even drive or fly out to wine country [called a vacation] in search of a good "Cab"! That is what I will be doing shortly myself, making another trip up the coast to Napa and Sonoma Valley.

I must have flailed my arms correctly because this time I have flagged one down that's reasonably priced and will definitely take your palate where it has always wanted to go, that place is happy land! I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. You can be too, just get your "happy" little self down to Jonathon's or the San Diego Wine Company, pick up a few bottles, get together with some friends and tweet away the evening about Cabernet Sauvignon the King of Wine.

In keeping with the joys of opening a fat Cabernet Sauvignon, just before firing up your grill to make something tasting, I present to you the concept of one Mr. Rick Bakas the Social Network Marketing Guru for St Supery "Cabernet Day" on Thursday Sept. 2nd which will be on all social media sites. So if you're reading this today, you still have time to join in on the celebration. The celebration of what you maybe asking, the "king of grapes". There two ways you can participate; either in person or online by joining the 50+ tweetups around the globe and the people who have all joined in on via Twitter with the hash tag
#Cabernet Day.

Well the fast approaching International Cabernet Day is on the way and I wanted to participate by providing the review of this wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon hailing from the brand spanking new “Happy canyon of Santa Barbara” AVA, with no further ado, I present to you the 2006 Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Ynez Valley.

First Swirl: In the glass, this was bright and clear despite it not being filtered, the core was a dark ruby to purple in color and opaque, while the legs were reflecting the core.

First Sniff: The opportunity to put this wine through it paces occurred during my WSET Advanced Certification class, where learning "proper" wine evaluation is the fun part of the instruction. This wine had a clean, pronounced nose, brimming with dusty mocha, cigar box, black pepper and currant.

First Sip: I found this wine to have mouth watering balanced acidity and well integrated tannins, which obviously aged on French Oak, appealing flavors of cocoa, blackberry and cherries swirling about to lithe long coffee type finish. Plush elegance!

Aging: After 18 months in 75% new French oak and a light fining with 3 fresh egg whites per barrel, the 2006 Star Lane Cabernet was bottled unfiltered.

Composition and ABV: A blend of four different grapes, with 78% Cabernet Sauvignon leading the pack, followed by 18% Cabernet Franc 3% Petit Verdot and just a drop of Malbec, presumably to add color and body. The ABV on this wine is hardly noticable 15.1%.

Price and Where to Purchase: You can purchase this wine from their website for $42 or you can buy it, here in San Diego at Jonathan's Market in La Jolla or Del Mar for [I assume] under $40 each, but when I called they didn't know the price or you can pick it up at San Diego Wine Company who's selling it for $36.95 each or if you want to buy 3 cases or more they will sell it for $33.95 each.

Fruit Source: The grapes are harvested from three different blocks, in fact they're the warmest and the highest elevation vineyard in the Happy Canyon AVA [American Viticulture Area]. Backing up to the lower slopes of the San Rafael Mountains which loom high above the ranch, Star Lane features a unique range of weathered sand, gravel and alluvial cobbles over a clay/loam subsoil.

My Recommendation: Oh boy this cab ride should cost you a lot more, good thing the meter isn't still running. I would run down and grab some today if you are planning on this for the Cabernet Day, then I would grab at least 3 one to open that night, and two to open later. You won't be disappointed, definitely well built solid wine that is drinking excellent now, but is built to age a few more years. For some the price of the wine most likely knocks it out of the "everyday" drinker category, however you don't want to missing grabbing some of this wine and storing them as a weekend wine or as one to give as a gift.

Cuvée Corner Wine Blog Score: Hey point seekers here's my score if your interested: This wine scored 91 points on the Cuvée Corner 100 point and would have scored a little higher if the price point was a bit lower, but since availability is high and the quality is quite amazing it received 91 points.

The Point System: I know there's a lot of discussion going around on the point system, and how unfair it is and blah, blah, blah. But nothing in this life will ever be completely fair or completely just. So argue against it if you like, but I believe it's here to stay, just accept it. The point system is like any other great tool, if used correctly and I believe it can be, than it will reward your palate over and over. One rule is get to know your reviewer, try to find out if they have a New World Palate or an Old World Palate and match it up your own. Some will say I have neither, but c'mon on the majority of us gravitate to one style or the other if we just admit it.


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3 comments:

Joe said...

Yeah, definitely don't think of SBC when I think of Cab. I've had some monstrous Pinots (16% PINOT!), Syrahs, and Grenaches from there, but the fruit quality is good, so why not some tasty Cabs.

Can't wait to get back there!

Joe @suburbanwino

Bill Eyer said...

Hey Joe, this was my first time tasting one of their cabs, I've had their Syrahs before, fantastico..your right not really an area known for Cab...even the the owner admitted this would be a challenging place to grow Cab, but he wanted to take on the project anyway...looks like the gamble worked out nicely, I'm definitely becoming a big fan of Star Lane...!

MarkAse said...

Bill,

Nice mention of both Cab day which was a lot of fun....haven't had the chance to try anything from Star myself, but I've heard good things from a few people.

I think we'll see more people attempting to go against the grain in terms of plantings in the future which is a really good thing, especially when people take a trip to wine country.

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