Deep ruby color; blackberry jam, brown sugar, coffee, mocha, smoke on the nose; black cherry, blackberry, mocha, oak char on the palate.
Dry; restrained tannins, some acidity (3.8 pH), grapes sourced from vineyards throughout California, 50% from Hames Valley, 25% Monterey County lead the way. Aged first for 12 months in French oak, then four-to-five months in 100% heavily charred American oak once used to age bourbon. The result is a wine where the bourbon influence is significantly dialed back compared to other bourbon barrel efforts, which usually are zinfandel. This is mostly cab—92% cabernet sauvignon, 4% petit sirah, 3% petit verdot, 1% syrah—so you get the unexpected: a bourbon barrel-aged wine that tastes like a wine rather than a wine beverage.
Cosentino Winery started in 1980, releasing its first vintage in 1981. In 1989, Cosentino released “The Poet,” one of the first designated and licensed meritage wines. In 1990 they introduced THE Series with THE Zin showcasing Lodi fruit. They have a winery and tasting room located in Oakville on the historic Saint Helena Highway at the entry to the Napa County, but they also have long been champions of the Lodi Appellation to their east. Winemaker Marty Peterson is a fourth-generation farmer and grape grower in Lodi and emphasizes sustainable farming—Lodi is one of the leading U.S. appellations for sustainable farming. This effort cellared and bottled in Hopland, CA, 65 miles north of the Napa winery and tasting room.
Cosentino is a Vintage Wine Estates brand—others include B.R. Cohn, Delectus Winery, Sonoma Coast Vineyard (SCV), Viansa, and others—and also is a partnership with Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits. Deutsch brands include Yellow Tail, Josh Cellars, Ruta 22, Georges Duboeuf and many others. So this pour pulls together two heavy hitters, if not players quite in the Constellation Brands, Gallo, and Treasury Wine Estate tier. They emphasize crowd pleasing pours—dependable quality, a flirtation with jammy to provide the fruity sweetness that is a mass market winning formula, and a price that doesn’t freak out the casual wine drinker.
Cosentino Winery Cigar Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 does not drink like your typical bourbon barrel finished wine—it is cab instead of zin, and the bourbon flavors are not as pronounced. Tasty, smooth, easy drinker. Straight-forward effort that may lack depth and complexity, but is perfectly adequate for a weekday pour or second bottle. Pair with barbecued meats; brisket; grilled steaks; braised beef short ribs; simple meatballs; spaghetti and meatballs; venison and other wild game; burgers and sliders; pizza; barbecue chicken; lamb; Asian barbecue lamb ribs. $22