This selection is a spectacular effort by O'Neill Vintners. It seems as though they do everything right. We've featured all manner of wines from them including delicate reds and whites to full-bodied reds and whites and they have never faltered. It might have something to do with the fact that the founder comes from a winemaking family going back almost 100 years. As they like to sheepishly say, "After a while, you learn a few things."
We're guessing they've learned more than a few, especially when it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon. As grapes go, it's a relatively easy one to grow. It likes a warmer climate to ripen, but cool nights to keep the essential acids. It would appear that Lodi's climate would be just the ticket and it certainly appears that way in this selection.
When Cabernet is under ripe, it shows traces of vegetable flavors and higher acids. But, when perfectly grown, none of those flavors appear and the tannins are in perfect balance with the fruit.
Steven DeCosta, winemaker, has done his homework with Cabernet Sauvignon grown all over the world. Yet, he's learned how to deal with it in his own vineyard. The result is a finely-tuned, richly-endowed wine with all the cr?me de cassis, blackberry, earth, and spice you expect and then finishes with a wallop.
Matching it with a summer barbeque, spring lamb or winter beef stew will only make you realize just how versatile a great wine can be when it made right.