The Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley winemakers produce has undergone some pivotal changes in the last few years. The valley is famous for making great wines, especially the Cabs. For a while, winemakers lost sight of what wine drinkers preferred and focused on making stronger, more powerful wines. These stronger wines hit marks of 15% alcohol and above. The Valley’s Cabernets transitioned from being a preferred wine to enjoy with a meal, to a wine a smaller audience like.
Winemakers in the last few years have swung back to the core aspects of a great Cabernet Sauvignon. The newer wines feature are lighter. They have become the perfect wine for before dinner, with your meal, and to enjoy with dessert.
Here are a few of our favorite Cabernet Sauvignons to enjoy with your dinner.
2011 Cain Five – Spring Mountain District – This fine wine reflects the rolling hills where the grapes are grown. Many vineyards grow their grapes in the valley floor because it is easy. This vineyard tills the rocky soils on the hillsides of the regions, favoring the belief of Virgil, who stated about Europe’s great vineyards, “Vines love an open hill”. The vibrant flavors found in this wine will make you a believer in Virgil’s words.
Cain Five offers a balanced flavor and with its 13.7% alcohol rating is still light and flavorful on the tongue.
2012 Inglenook Rubicon – Francis Ford Coppola is best known for directing and producing movies, but his vineyards produce some of the finest wines in the region. In the early 2010s, he knew it was time to make some major changes to their Cabernet Sauvignon. To accomplish these changes, he hired Philippe Bascaules and gave him a mission to produce a lighter Cab to satisfy the changing desires of wine lovers.
The 2012 Inglenook Rubicon was Bascaules first wine for the vineyard and it is a treasure. The lighter flavor made for a fresher and more enjoyable dinner wine. The wine’s flavors bring out the region’s distinct taste.
2015 Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon – If you want to experience wine with great depth of taste, but still remains light enough to enjoy with your meal, this is it. The aroma brings out hints of jasmine, blackberries, figs, and cinnamon. The wine hits near the 15% alcohol ratio but still remains pleasant on the palette.
It has a light oak flavor paired with a great tannin level. If you are looking for a wine to delight your pickiest wine drinkers, this is an excellent choice.
2014 – Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon – Hints of blue and red fruit flow into flavors of mocha and butterscotch to give this wine an amazing flavor that goes with almost any meal. This wine is light on the palette and a delight to drink.
These few wines are just a small sample of how Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley wineries are changing. They provide a light, elegant, and delightful flavor with beautiful aromas to entice all your senses. We recommend exploring a variety of Cabernet Sauvignons from the Napa Valley region to uncover your favorite wine.