Thursday, October 25, 2018

Wine Review: High Valley Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

October is Shannon Ridge Month on!

In 1995, Clay Shannon discovered a magnificent piece of property in the hills overlooking Clear Lake in Lake County, thirty-five miles north of Napa’s famed vineyards. He quickly set out to develop vineyards, Clay’s vision was simple: "We wanted to grow the best fruit in the world,” says Clay, “but we wanted to do it in a way that made us happy living there... The landscape is rugged and wild, and so are our neighbors – we’re surrounded by wildlife. We’ve got ducks, geese, deer, raccoons, quail, golden eagles, bald eagles, wild turkey, chipmunks and bobcats that visit us regularly. We are also visited commonly by bears, mountain lions and elk." 

Shannon Ridge is passionate about preserving their land, not only for great vineyard sites, but for the wild creatures which share the property. Their sustainability practices integrate a flock of sheep that clean the vineyards, remove the excess canopy, and reduce the need for chemicals, while providing natural fertilizer. “Sustainability wasn’t some philosophical concept;" says Clay, "it is the way we live our lives.”

All of October is dedicated to Shannon Ridge! This is review #8 of 8, so it concludes here, and you can read all of the reviews I've done so far by clicking here.

High Valley Vineyards is Shannon Ridge's label from the High Valley AVA in Lake County, which is between 1,600 and 3,000 feet in elevation. The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is from Betsy's Vineyard, names after Clay's mother, on a northwest facing slope.It has an ABV of 13.6% and will cost you $30 retail.

The color of the wine is ruby red. On the nose it's all about the cherry and oak, but there's backup aromas of graphite, tomato, and chocolate. On the palate it's medium to full bodied with soft tannin and an acidity that's bright but not out of place. There's flavors of cherries, blackberries, toffee, and chocolate. On the finish you get a flash of blue raspberry just after you swallow, but that quickly goes away. Then you're left with this beautiful roasty black coffee flavor, along with blackberry and toffee. But that coffee is so strong and amazing that it is by far my favorite thing about this wine.

This is an easily approachable Cabernet that everybody can appreciate. And I've found that to be the theme with all of the wines I tasted from Shannon Ridge this month: good quality for the price but easy going in personality. You could go ahead and pour this for your wine snob cousin that buys $50 Cabernets by the case and for your aunt who thinks Josh Cabernet is the greatest thing ever invented and they'll both be as happy as a tornado in a trailer park.

And that's it for Shannon Ridge month! Thank you to J.D. from Trio Wine Company for giving me the hook up! YOU ARE THE MAN!

Price: $40
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge by Trio Wine Company for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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