Many people think of Cabernet Sauvignon when red wines are mentioned. But it might not be for everybody. The sturdy tannins might be too much for some to swallow. Tannic acids are used to cure cowhide and pigskin. But for many of us, paired with the right food it is king.
Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignons are often a walk on the mild side. It’s rare for a Livermore Valley making wine from valley grapes to talk up sturdy tannins.
Cabernet Sauvignon had its beginnings in Bordeaux. Sauvignon Blanc is the momma and cabernet franc is the daddy. In what some may consider a role reversal Sauvignon Blanc provides the whomp and mild mannered cabernet franc provides depth and variety to the variety. They were growing in adjacent vineyards and the wild thing made cabernet franc’s heart sing. So he jumped the fence and pollinated Sauvignon Blanc.
As to food pairing it typically goes swell with most beef.. Neither fish nor fowl seems to pair well with it. Now some wine wise one will probably show me up on this proclamation. It could be the wurst of times to find a bratwurst, brockwurst or summer sausage if they have a high beef content.
Cabernet Sauvignons grown in wide variety of climates, and is relativity easy to market due its high name recognition.
Here’s a tour of some valley wineries cabernet Sauvignons:
2013 BoaVentura Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley ($79) I took a voyage on the Good Ship Lollipop. At the Captains Table stood a row of this wine from the vineyard’s Front Vineyard, which has a spicy and earthy aroma and a smooth roll around with hints of dark cherry, earth, leather, and spice, lingering finish. The medium tannins were perfect with the Porterhouse steak a white-clad waiter put on each diner’s plate. I especially enjoyed the small thin piece between the bones.
2014 Nottingham Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley ($36). This 100% Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon shows intense blackcurrant, cherry plus coarse tobacco in the nose. A skosh of herbal and mint sitting squarely on the palate, this big red isn't shy with its chewy, roll around. Its finish is delightfully long; there's enough acidity and punch here to carry the bold flavors up and through. It sang a duet with a hearty, succulent standing rib roast.
2013 Charles R Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley Casa de Vina ($32). Juicy and fruity Juicy, fruit forward, silky, earthy leather, touch of coriander, with balanced tannins and acid. Thoughts of blackberries on a fig newton and shaved bakers’ chocolate. After Bonnie Rait and I had our pictures taken with Fernando, we enjoyed this one with rib-eye steak.
Caddis 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley Del Arroyo Vineyard ($45). Oh yeah! this elegant Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of blackberry, clove, mint, and violets. Tart black cherries and plums on the palate, along with bright acidity and integrated tannins make it a treat.. Thanks to its spicy finish of cinnamon, cocoa powder, and white pepper, it pairs perfectly with hearty meat dishes. Yogi Berra and I enjoyed it with Yankee Pot Roast. He said, “Everybody comes here because it’s not crowded.”
2013 Bent Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley ($32). The sparkling ruby color captures your attention. Bold fruit aromas blend with a hint of oak. Bright fruit flavors of raspberry and cherry join soft tannins in a smooth finish. This winner won a Silver Medal: 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. I was waiting for Godot so asked the waiter to pour half of it into a carafe. After checking the time on my cell phone several times, I ordered prime rib. Prime time. One tune from Iron Butterfly allowed time to enjoy a leisurely meal. Still no Godot. I left the wine for the waiter and told if Godot didn’t show it was hers.
2014 3 Steves Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley ($45). Four lots of this honey were made. The fruit all comes from the Livermore Valley. Their Estate cabernet is 100% cabernet from their vineyard on Greenville Road. Small lot 3 is their lightest bodied Cab with notes of strawberry. Small lot 1 is medium bodied with hints of blackberry and anise. Small lot 2 is a full-bodied cab with bing cherry and coco characteristics, and they work hard on all of their cabs to provide a long, lingering finish. They invite you to come in and give each of them a taste and leave with that perfect wine for your particular taste. I tried it with prime rib and ta da! There you go. Perfecto.