Alta Maria, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007, Santa Ynez Valley, California
The 2007 Alta Maria is an approachable yet complex enough effort that will satisfy the oenophiles who tend to lean away from California Cabs. Its got a dark purple core with a hint of crimson translucence on the edges. The nose is extremely generous with burnt sugar, maple bar, coffee liqueur, boysenberry, and a strange memory inducing scent of a lonely dark dusty old room from my childhood. The maple translates well into the palate while embracing some dark dark dark black fruit flavors with smokey meat undertones. It is medium-bodied with smooth sweet rounded out tannins from time napping in the bottle. The Alta Maria has a pleasing syrupy/juicy body but avoids the fake sweetness found in a lot of California Cabs. For under thirty bucks, this is an lively, tough as nails, varietally-correct to the core Cab that you can thank me for recommending later.
P.S. The roundness of these tannins feel about as good as Louis C.K. saying a certain taboo word.