Jeff’s Corner 4-16-21

I’m often asked what my favorite GCV wine is, and I must admit I’m a bit fickle from vintage to vintage. (Right now I am really smitten with the new 2019 Rendezvous.) Over the long-haul however, my favorite is, beyond a doubt, Cabernet Trois. I began putting it on my wine lists in the mid ‘90s, and it has definitely spent more time in my glass than any other GCV wine.

Cabernet Trois’ legendary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Ruby Cabernet occupies a unique place in the early history of Texas wine. It was one of the first wines to define Texas as a “blending” state and began moving us away from the “varietal” craze that California was so successful with. (This is not to say that Texas doesn’t produce great varietals as well).

Well, guess what, today we are going to check out our brand new 2019 Cab Trois, but first let’s talk about the origins of Ruby Cabernet. Created by Dr. Harold Olmo at UC Davis in the forties, it is a cross between Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Carignan is a high-yield, hot weather grape, while Cabernet likes a cooler climate and has a lower yield. Olmo wanted a high-yield, hot weather grape with Cabernet aromas and flavor profiles. It didn’t really work. It doesn’t make a very good wine on its own, but adds great structure and color when blended in small amounts to our Cab Trois. In California, it is grown in the hot central valleys and blended into jug wine.

Always one of my favorite wines to write about, the new ’19 Cabernet Trois is 100% Texas High Plains fruit, with a reasonable ABV of 13.7%. The blend is 62.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26.7% Cabernet Franc and 10.5% Ruby Cabernet, pretty close to traditional ratios throughout the years.

The color is a rich, ruby/garnet and the wine shows pronounced aromas of blackberry, black cherry and cassis, layered with cedar, tobacco, vanilla and cocoa. Complex aromas continue to evolve as the wine develops in the glass.

The palate is well-balanced, with ample fruit supported by rich, edgy tannins and well-integrated acids. A long, creamy finish entices us to keep going back for more. First produced in 1991, this, the 29th vintage of Cab Trois, promises to be a real beauty.

Kathy and I are having some very dear old friends over for lunch Monday, and I’m going to grill some burgers topped with whole Hatch green chiles, aged melted Provolone and finished with caramelized onions. Our new Cab Trois should do just fine with this.

Speaking of Kathy, today is our anniversary. It’s unbelievable that 41 years could pass so quickly. We have indeed had a wonderful fine time, and our conversations, love, laughter and friendship have enriched my life beyond words. Thanks, honey.