Cab is king

Dreaming of cabernets

POWERFUL PUNCH Fernwood Cellars 2014 Cabernet oozes of leather, cedar and tack, like a fine cabernet should. Photo: Laura Ness

It’s no surprise that cab is king, especially in cooler weather, when sitting by the fire takes on a romantic air.

Want to give yourself or a cab lover in your life a set of special local cabernets this holiday season?  Here are a few to ponder.

Aver Family’s 2014 Heritage Cabernet is named for John and Carolyn’s fathers, and does them proud with pretty cassis, cherry and vanilla, wound around lithe tannins.

Calerrain’s 2016 cabernet from Church Creek vineyard exhibits a nice weight and well-integrated tannins, with just a hint of that Santa Clara earthiness. The red fruits are a surprising touch.

Emmalily’s 2015 Madeline Cabernet is abundantly oak-enveloped, and will please the lover of sweet wood. After resting in barrel for 30 months, this chocolate-laden wine deserves big air and a big glass.

Matt Oetinger’s personality infuses Fernwood Cellars 2014 Cabernet. It oozes leather, cedar and tack, like a fine cabernet should. Big-boned yet graceful, it’s a handsome, powerful steed.

There’s no doubt winemaker Jason Goelz has a way with wine. Sniff the 2014 Jason Stephens Cabernet and you’ll find sandalwood, leather, cedar and pine. Sip, and you’ll love the dark cherry, balsam incense and beautifully framed tannins. Classy and classic.

The 2016 JD Hurley Cabernet that Dan Martin crafts from the Santa Cruz Mountains aims at the sweet spot, with cherry and vanilla dominating, featuring a price just under $30. A crowd pleaser, for sure.

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About Laura Ness
Laura Ness is an accomplished freelance writer offering travel tips and commentary on the California wine industry.