2017 Cabernet Blanc
Jeff’s Corner 12-7-18
Today is “a date which will live in infamy” and these words spoken by FDR should ring as true as ever on the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Right now there is nothing more for me to write about this, our job is to remember…
I am, however, supposed to write about wine, so here we go. GCV produces few wines that are more beloved and festive than our Cabernet Blanc. Today we’ll take a peak at the new 2017, and since this style of sweet rose was born from holiday tradition, let’s check out some cool history.
Beginning in 1948, Bob Trinchero and his family began producing some very high quality Napa Valley wines. Each year, he would craft an elegant dry rose from some of his best Napa Valley Zinfandel. He did this in small batches, from the current vintage, for his friends and family to enjoy during the holidays.
In 1975, the fermentation “stuck” and the wine ended up sweet. Trinchero thought it was ruined, but when he tasted it he thought he might be able to make a little money from it. Well, he didn’t make a little, he made a bank full, and Sutter Home’s White Zinfandel turned the wine world on its ear. Several generations of wine drinkers have grown up thinking roses’ are all sweet because of this fortuitous accident.
Now, back to our new Cab Blanc. We first made this wine in 1990, maybe 1989. Ned Simes, our founder, produced it in response to the White Zin craze. For maybe two vintages we produced a White Zin as well, but Cab Blanc was all the rage. It was a lovely pale salmon color, and I started selling it in 1993 at my home for 26 years, the Seafood and Spaghetti Works in Port Aransas.
A brilliant partridge eye, the 2017 reminds me of the first glow of sunrise peaking over the Davis Mountains in west Texas. Aromas are fanciful, fruity, and floral. Strawberry, watermelon, and memories of Luden’s cherry cough drops flirt with floral notes of magnolia and pink carnation. It was hard for me to get my nose out of the glass.
Whether you like a wine this sweet or not, it is extremely well made and shows bright acidity that is high enough to balance the sugar and fruit. More full-bodied than the ’16 and about the same residual sugar, the 2017 is 12.5% ABV and 4.4% RS compared to 10.9% ABV and 4.6% RS for the ’16.
This wine is all about summertime and strawberry shortcake. It’ll be here before ya blink…