Friday, November 18, 2011

Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

California has over one hundred American Viticultural Areas.  If I had to choose one as my favorite, it would be the Paso Robles AVA.  Located in San Obispo County, the Paso Robles AVA has a long history of winemaking.  Around 1797, missionaries brought vines to the Mission San Miguel Arcangel.  For more than three hundred years, people have been cultivating those vines.  

The primary grape of the Paso Robles AVA is Zinfandel.  While Paso Robles Zinfandel wines are very good, I find that some of the other grapes grown in Paso Robles produce far better wines for their particular styles.  I have previously reviewed These grapes date back to the 1950s and 1960s. During that time, vineyards began to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Viognier and Roussanne.   Vineyards also grow Petite Sirah, producing wines like the San Simeon, which I have previously reviewed.  In recent years, winemakers have taken these grapes to create some interesting blends.  These blends have helped to increase the image of the AVA.  
Forgoing the blends, I bought a bottle of a Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles.  The wine was produced by Hope Family Wines.  The Hope family has been producing wines in the Paso Robles AVA for more than thirty years on land that was formerly apple orchards.  The Cabernet Sauvignon is harvested and fermented by individual lots.  The wine is then aged in French and American oak barrels for twelve months, during which time it is racked twice.

The Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon pours a cranberry red.  The aroma of this wine is suggests cherries, blackberries, along with a hint of vanilla.  The flavors of this wine have multiple layers.  In the front, there are full, ripe berries.  Cherries and a little strawberry.  However, some darker fruits begin to appear later in the taste and in the finish.  Fruits such as plum, a little cranberry. The wine has a medium body and, while the tannins are fairly pronounced, they do not overwhelm the drinker.

I found this wine at a local Whole Foods Market and it should be avialable at other grocery stores or wine stores. 


For more about the Paso Robles AVA, check out Wikipedia.

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