Every week, the drinks business selects a wine that picked up either a Gold or Master from its competition series, and tells you why the judges loved it. Enter the Global Masters, and this could be your wine.
While it’s normal to default to Napa when considering top-flight Californian Cabernet, neighbouring Sonoma County is capable of producing equally delicious examples. Not only that, but because this historic wine region doesn’t carry quite the same kudos as Napa, Sonoma County Cabs can offer exceptional value reds – that is by top-end Californian standards.
And with that in mind, the drinks business is urging to consider this outstanding Cab from the Stonestreet Estate, which is one of the brilliant operations owned by the Jackson family.
Expect pristine dark berry fruit flavours, a taste of fruit that’s been picked at optimum ripeness from warm, but exposed high-altitude sites, and expertly handled. It’s so distinctly Cabernet, with the intense cassis characters that the king of grapes produces when the vines are in peak condition and the yields kept low. Then there’s the wine’s cedar and vanilla characters from fermentation in 50% new oak barriques.
As for its texture, the Stonestreet Cab is concentrated, smooth, layered, and with a bright edge, making this a big glass of red, but not a fatiguing drinking experience.
In short, it’s Sonoma County Cab at its best – and that’s why it gained the ultimate accolade in this year’s Cabernet Masters.
While this is a wine that could age and develop over another decade or two, it’s also delicious now in its youthful state.
The wine: Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015
The source: Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA
The grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon
The style: Barrel-aged still red wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon
The price: £50+
The medal: Master – The Global Cabernet Sauvignon Masters, 2019
With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, the Global Wine Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known corners of the New World.
It’s a competition dedicated to making winners out of winemakers.