Tasting Report: The Balance of 2008 California Cabernet

June 20th, 2011

Just about everybody into top-end California Cabernet Sauvignon believes the 2007 vintage is clearly superior to the state's most recent on the market: 2008. But I argue otherwise. The 2008 vintage produced some glorious Cabs with bright and evocative perfumes, and beautiful fruity and balanced palates that show a lovely interplay of polished tannins with fresh acidity.

Some winemakers say that 2008 produced more terroir-driven Cabs that show their provenance better than 2007. In other words, the slightly longer and cooler grape growing season in 2008 produced less fruit-dominated character in the wines. I have to agree, particularly in my favorite areas such as Oakville, Pritchard Hill and Knights Valley.

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