Dominican Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 (Napa Valley)
Medium-dark, velvety purple, nearly opaque. A rich, ripe nose of blackberry and currant, with some pencil shavings and a hint of vanilla. Medium-bodied but full of cassis, black cherry, plum, and blueberry flavors. Green tobacco and menthol notes come out with food. Pretty typical Californian profile, but plenty of acidity keeps it fresh. Light but persistent tannic grip, with dark fruit and cherry cream lingering on the finish. $15. 13.5% alcohol. I don't drink a lot of Napa Cabs, and my reasons are by now cliches: they are too often overoaked, oversized, and overpriced. But this seems like a terrific value in the category. Just as good after four vacu-vinned days in the fridge. "Vinted and bottled by RR Vineyards, St Helena," says the label, which looks as if it's illustrated with winery clip art. Nice job, whoever you are.
FEAR THE TURTLE ! ! !