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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Wine Review: Dane Cellars DesNudos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvigon 2015

Bart Hansen is the founder and winemaker of Dane Cellars and just from the brief conversation I had with him over the phone two years ago I could tell he's just one hell of a guy. Funny, open, honest, and kind, with a big heart full of passion and love. Bart started off in the industry during harvest; trucking grapes from the vineyard down a hill, five tons at a time. In 1986 he started winemaking for Kenwood, and then hopped over to Benziger in 1998. But he left Benziger to become a stay at home dad to his son Dane. And when he felt like he needed to get back in the game, he founded Dane Cellars in 2007.

You can read all the reviews I've written on Bart's wine under the Dane Cellars label for the blog, but this time I'm reviewing his 2016 Valeria2016 Chenin Blanc2016 Zinfandel, and 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. (PS: I still have a bottle of his 2012 Justi Creek Cabernet Sauvignon that I'm waiting to open on a special occasion and can't wait to see how it evolved)

The DesNudos Vineyard is located on the southern end of the Mayacamas Mountains, and in the 1940's it was a nudist colony known as Sun-o-ma. This 2015 Cabernet from that property is 100% Cabernet that spent 5 days cold soaking, three weeks fermenting with the skins, pressed when dry, and then saw 26 months in French oak barrels. Only 150 cases were produced and it has an ABV of 14.8%.

AC/DC, High VoltageYou know what I'm really in the mood for tonight? Some AC/DC! And when I'm in the mood for some AC/DC then all I've gotta do is start playing High Voltage. Back when I was in my early twenties (almost 20 years ago!) I used to roll down my windows and blast the crap out of that album as I drove down the mean streets of Cape Cod, causing old men in their yards to throw their fists in the air yelling "THIS IS A NEIGHBORHOOD!" Ah yes. Rebellious youth. And man, this album is just so great. Bagpipes in rock? Oh hell yeah! Check it out via the music selection playlist on my YouTube channel.

Crank that amp up to 11, Angus, and let's drown ourselves in some Sonoma Cabernet!

The wine is garnet in color. On the nose the first thing that pops up is black cherry sauce, followed by vanilla, toasty oak, and licorice. On the palate it's medium to full bodied with a lush mouthfeel and incredibly well balanced with its soft tannin and acidity. There's flavors of black cherries, black raspberries, vanilla, toffee, and that comforting toasty oak. Then it finishes with a bit of an uplift into brighter cherries and strawberries.

This is a softer, lighter, fluffier Cabernet and that's a good thing. As I've discussed with several people lately, I think it's time for everybody to take a step back from super Cabby Cabs. It's a more versatile varietal than consumers and sometimes professionals give it credit for, and this is a prime example of that mellow and relaxed Cabernet that Sonoma can do so well.

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

The bottle used was provided free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

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