Deep ruby color; blackberry, plum, cherry, oak-vanilla on the nose; blackberry, plum, black cherry, blackcurrant, oak, mocha on the palate.
Dry; lush, affable tannins and acidity; medium-plus body. Bold wine without being obnoxious. Ripe, dark fruits dominate. Ripeness and the oak regime, maybe with a little winery legerdemain, gives a penumbra of sweetness to the roundelay in the mouth. This was built for sippers who seek pleasure from their pours, not someone searching for oenophile adventure with a deep dive into layers and complexity. In short, you come to Josh for a fun, easy-drinking experience. This delivers on that. 14% ABV
Josh Cellars is a négociant brand, which means Joseph Carr doesn’t own a winery or vineyards. Grapes for this effort came from Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties—the North Coast. Grapes were crushed and cold-soaked for up to 48 hours to encourage extraction of color and tannins. Pump-overs occurred during 10-15 days of fermentation to further maximize extraction for flavor, color, and tannin. Malolactic fermentation followed. Modest oak regime with 25% new French oak.
Joseph Carr worked in hospitality in New York, particularly the Big Tree Inn in Upstate New York, beginning in 1979. He started as a busboy and worked his way up to being the wine steward. In 2001, Joseph and his wife, Dee, decided he could quit working for others and pursue his dream of working for himself making wine. Joseph Carr Wines released their first premium Napa cabernet sauvignon in 2002.
In 2005, Josh Cellars was born with Tom Larson, a Sonoma legend, as winemaker. Today, Wayne Donaldson is the winemaker. He brings three decades of experience from all over the world, starting with his native Australia, to the task.
Josh Cellars is named for Joseph’s father, Joseph “Josh” Carr. The effort took off quickly. In 2012, Carr partnered with Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits to sell Josh Cellars and Joseph Carr wines. By 2015, they were selling one million cases. Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits is the 10th largest wine distributor in the U.S., selling five million cases a year, with Josh Cellars leading the way. Other Deutsch brands include Yellow Tail, Ruta 22, Georges Duboeuf, and many others.
Joseph Carr Josh Cellars North Coast Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is a crowd-pleasing, smooth, easy-drinking delight. With ripe fruits, amicable tannins and acidity, it is soft and effortlessly approachable from the pop-and-pour through its finish. All those elements contribute to its huge success. Widely available, well priced. A quality mass-appeal wine that even officious wine snobs can enjoy. Pair with beef—braised short ribs; well-seasoned steaks; bacon-wrapped filets; lamb; wild game—venison, boar, feral hog; pork; baked and barbecue chicken; all manner of comfort food—meatloaf, pizza, burgers and sliders, Italian pasta dishes. $18-20