PICK of the RACK: Cedarville Vineyard | Cabernet Sauvignon | El Dorado County | California | 2007 | $29 | 90 pts

Aromas:  deep, black cherry; cocoa; vanilla.
Character:  dry; rich & full-bodied; fruit & earth in balance; medium tannins; medium acidity; well integrated oak.
Flavors:  black currant; sweet cured tobacco; black tea; pepper & spice; graphite.
Food Pairing:  sharp cheeses; steak; grilled meats & veggies.

I introduced you to Cedarville Vineyard and proprietor/winemaker Jonathan Lachs in my (separate) tasting notes on his delicious 2008 Grenache.  Jonathan’s 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is another fine example of his craftsmanship, in particular, and the potential for great winemaking in little known, tucked away El Dorado County, in general.  This is an expressive, mouth-filling wine bursting with aromas and flavors that evoke dark, ripe fruit, spice, tobacco, tea, and mineral, which all balance out beautifully.  The character of Jonathan’s Cabernet Sauvignon is a reflection of El Dorodo County’s high elevation vineyards, which enjoy hot, dry days, intense sun exposure, and cool nights.  These conditions yield ripe fruit and refreshing acidity ~ the fundamental recipe, in my opinion, for a well-balanced wine.  Jonathan’s hand plays a crucial role in the character of this wine, as well, especially in keeping the oak in check.  The oak is present, for sure ~ and should be ~ but it is integrated with the wine’s aromas and flavors in a way that adds backbone but doesn’t overtake them.  This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (no other varieties were blended in), and is a notably pure expression of the variety, indeed.

Availability:  Jonathan produced only 538 cases of his 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, so you’re likely not to find it in a wine shop.  You can, however, order this or newer vintages through his website at www.cedarvillevineyard.comPay Cederaville Vineyard a visit at the winery in Fair Play, El Dorado County, in California’s Sierra Foothills, or more convieniently online, to check out this Cabernet Sauvignon and Jonathan’s other selections.

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