Happy Aloha Friday! As you wrap up the week and get ready to spring forward this weekend, consider toasting with one of these beauties, each date night worthy.
Bubbles are always Saturday night worthy, especially when they are as delicious as those crafted from Domaine Carneros. Domaine Carneros Brut Rose ($45) is light and fresh enough to awaken the palate enjoyed as an aperitif, but also has enough structure and texture to be enjoyed throughout an entire evening and meal. Upon the open floral notes of wild rose and lemon blossom lift from the glass, followed by ripe golden peaches, golden apple, and wild red berry with hints of toasted cream and marzipan.
After bubbles head straight into a stellar red wine, and when thinking of great Cabernet Sauvignon, head straight to Napa Valley. Earthy, bold, and concentrated, highlighting the structure the volcanic and alluvial soils of the Stags Leap District AVA impart on the Cabernet Sauvignon vines, Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon ($82) reveals concentrated layers of blue and black fruits, (black cherry, blackberry, cassis,) with an earthy undertone of woody herb, roasted espresso, and dried tobacco. 21 months of aging in partially new French oak ensures the tannins are nicely integrated and the wine has modest hints of dark chocolate and spice that lift the wine without overpowering the exquisite earthiness Stags Leap delivers.
Blending a touch of fruit from Oakville and Yountville, with organically grown Cabernet Sauvignon from their St. Helena estate, Ehlers Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($72) showcases round suppleness that valley floor grown fruit produces, with fruit-forward approachability while delivering balanced texture and sophistication. Red cherry and plum mix with boysenberry, black licorice, woody thyme and star anise, with subtle notes of vanilla and toasted cedar, enhanced by 22 months of predominantly new French oak aging.
If you prefer a blend, Flora Spring’s flagship wine, Trilogy ($85) is excellent any night, especially date night. The sister wine to their stellar Soliloquy Sauvignon Blanc, with the 2019 vintage toasting the 35th anniversary of Trilogy, a classic Left Bank Bordeaux-style blend, leading with Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by almost equal parts Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, revealing a seamless, soft, supple wine that though takes it’s the style from France is thoroughly Napa Valley. Juicy and rich, revealing ripe red plum and cherry with dried currant, wet leaves, toffee, creamy vanilla, and mocha with a velvety long finish that is easy to become consumed in.
Though Malbec is a classic Bordeaux variety, many Napa Valley wineries don’t include the Morelo cherry-filled beauty. Thankfully, Shafer Vineyards highlights the variety, along with Merlot, in their Cabernet Sauvignon dominant proprietary red blend, TD-9 ($65). Crafted from valley floor fruit, and that grown as higher elevations in the foothills of the Vaca Mountains, revealing an earthy undertone to the bold wine, and aged in 100% new French oak for 20 months, creating a dense, concentrated, full-bodied wine with character. Savory and rich, layering black plum, stewed cherry, and cassis with balsamic and black tea. Pair this beauty with roasted lamb or grilled ribeye steaks, sipping slowly to appreciate each moment.