RKS Wine: California Cabernet Sauvignon: Is This the Real Thing?

One might look at a bottle of California Cabernet Sauvignon and see the winery is located in Sonoma or Napa home to some high-end Cabernet Sauvignon. But look at the label closely and it may not refer to a specific American Viticultural Area (AVA) in California but state “California Cabernet Sauvignon” which means by law 100% of the grapes must be from California so in fact although the winery is located in Napa or Sonoma none of the grapes could be from those AVA’s. A similar note could be made for wines produced in Prince Edward County in Ontario. The label may state VQA Ontario but not VQA Prince Edward County. So the consumer may think the grapes are from Prince Edward County but in fact the grapes may have been trucked in from Niagara.

In this case we try a Mina Mesa Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles. This means at least 85% of the grapes made to produce the wine are from the Paso Robles AVA. So purchase an AVA designated wine and you are drinking at least 85% of grapes from that AVA.

How about this Mina Mesa 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles?

On the nose fresh picked blueberries, blueberry pie, black cherry, cassis and fresh sage leaves. On the palate some freshly baked blueberry pie predominates, pomegranate with a full mouth feel and gentle tannins. It has a gentle lingering finish with a tiny bit of brine to it. For $16.95 can we say a truly authentic Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles.

The wine drinks well on its own but I think it has a calling for grilled beef with Portobello Mushrooms marinated in soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame seed oil. Best consumed by the end of 2022.

(Mina Mesa Paso Robles 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Mina Mesa Wines, Greenfield, California, $16.95, 750 mL, 13.5% Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 17808, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 90/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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