Jeff’s Corner 6-3-22

Hey, Hey, Hey,
It’s Cab Blanc Day!

That’s right, today we’re going to check out our brand new 2021 Cab Blanc. Cab Blanc (the wine formerly known as Cabernet Blanc) is one of our most popular wines, and also our longest-tenured. 1990 is the oldest vintage I could find in our wine library, but there could have been an ’89. Unless we skipped a year, that makes 34 vintages of this Texas legend.

First, a little history. In Southern Europe, dry rosés have been the summer wine of choice for centuries. The sweet rosé revolution began quietly after World War II, when two sweet, slightly carbonated Portuguese rosés exploded on the world’s wine scene. They were called Mateus and Lancers. They were bottled in oddly shaped clay-like bottles that forged an undeniable brand/image. They were my “classy” wines of choice when I became legal at age 19.

Rewind. Beginning in 1948, Bob Trinchero and his family began producing some high-quality Napa Valley wines. Every year, he would craft an elegant dry rosé 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.

Years ago, Kathy and I were speaking with Ned Simes (founder of GCV) about how Cabernet Blanc came to be. In the 1980’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, and Cabernet Blanc (white Cabernet) was born. In a brilliant move, Ned was both creative and resourceful in producing this now mythical wine.

Now, finally, on to our new 2021 Cab Blanc. Sweet, fruity, and fun, aroma and flavor profiles (along with sugar content) remain pretty consistent from vintage-to-vintage. The ’21 Cab Blanc is a seductive, translucent pale salmon in color with a porch-perfect ABV 0f 11.5%. The residual sugar is 43 grams/liter, or 4.3%. In a 6 ounce glass of wine, this breaks down to about 8 grams of sugar.

Playful aromas of strawberry shortcake, red cherry, and cranberry are balanced with pink carnation and wild flowers. The mouthfeel is sweet, well-balanced, and made for quaffing. Serve well-chilled, around 45*, and let’s pair this with our backyard and some ice-cold watermelon.

Next week, I’ll be back with our 2021 Pinot Grigio…