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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma 2005

Sebastiani CabernetMany years ago, the first wine I bought a case of was a Sebastiani Barbera that Louise Kahn recommended to me. The wooden box — which I still have — says it was the 1976 vintage. I stashed it downstairs in my darkroom / wine cellar and periodically brought one upstairs to to unwrap, open and enjoy.

Twenty-nine vintages later, Sebastiani is still one of my favorite wineries. Their Sonoma County selections are consistently very good no matter what the growing season was like, and they're good values as well. And their higher-end wines — like the Secolo red blend and the Cherry Block Cabernet — are superb.

At $15 or so, the Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma 2005 is hands-down my favorite everyday California Cab. This is probably why: My favorite type of wine is a New World Bordeaux-style blend, and Sebastiani's Sonoma Cab is blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Petite Sirah, and aged in a combination of American, Hungarian and French oak. The resulting wine has a fragrant nose of black cherry and a little Constant Comment, plenty of body, smooth tannins, a palate of dark berries, cedar and vanilla, and a long, pleasant finish. It's good to sip by itself, and its tannins and acids also make it a good match for food — it paired very well with last night's marinated and grilled flank steak.
Anonymous, 9:55 AM