Jeff’s Corner 2-15-19

I was surprised last week when Dougabie told me to write about the release of the 2018 Cabernet Blanc; it seemed like just a few months ago we were checking out the ’17. Well, guess what, that’s because it was. Alas, the 2017 has melted into legend, taking with it a Gold Medal from the SFCWC. Another great one, however, is on the way…

This is where I’m going to get on my soap box for a second when it comes to sweet wines being a matter of taste. Duh! It’s okay not to like them, but it’s really not okay to look down on them. I hate liver, but I don’t look down on people that (gasp!) love it. Besides, Jason and crew make damn good sweet wine!


2018 is the 29th or 30th vintage of Cabernet Blanc; I found a 1990 in our library, but there may have been a 1989. This is our longest tenured wine, with a pretty cool story behind it.

Years ago, Kathy and were speaking with Ned Simes (founder of GCV) about how this wine came to be. In the late ’80’s, White Zin was all the rage and for a couple years Grape Creek followed suit. At the same time, however, there was a glut of young Hill Country Cabernet Grapes. In a brilliant move, Ned was both creative and resourceful in producing this now legendary wine.

The 2018 is a brilliant pink/rose with sparkling clarity. As always, it is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with a respectable 13.0 ABV. The residual sugar is about 4.5%, keeping with recent vintages.

To me, the aroma of Cab Blanc is always one of its greatest strengths. It’s like a fresh Easter bouquet on Sunday morning. When I start to smell this wine, it’s hard to get my nose out of the glass to taste it. Intense pink carnation flirt with honeysuckle, gardenia, and magnolia, along with a constant undercurrent of ripe strawberry.

The palate is delightful as well, with a rich texture balancing a coy sweetness with a bright, lively acidity. The finish is long, sweet and tart, like a sugary strawberry snow cone on a hot summer day. To me, the 2018 is a classic example of why Cab Blanc has been quaffed by many for three decades. 

Right now I’m thinking about this wine on July 4th with ice-cold watermelon and fresh strawberry pie with lots of whipped cream.

More new vintages on the way…