Avalon Cabernet Sauvingnon 2011
Avalon winery’s home is Graton, California, a small town about 30 miles Northwest of the Sonoma wine country. As part of the well-known Purple Wine Company (http://www.purplewine.com/), Avalon’s grapes are sourced from different areas of the West Coast. While Avalon has several different grapes and blends in their repertoire, their specialization is in Cabernet Sauvingnon. Initially the goal for Avalon was to create a wine that tastes like a $75 dollar bottle then sell it for about $15.
Historically, Avalon is also known as Paradise and – as legend has it – is the place (most likely Glastonbury, UK) where King Arthur’s sword Excalibur was forged and later where Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds after the Battle of Camlann. It’s believed that King Arthur’s soul resides in Avalon to this very day. That’s knowledge, kids.
Now, back to California. I know little else about Avalon Winery other than the fact that they put out great wines en masse each year and that the top dogs at the winery (http://www.avalonwinery.com/aboutus.html) are highly experienced and respected in the industry. Also, you can pair Avalon Cabernet with an award-winning Maple Cheddar Burger with Spicy Apple Bacon Compote – http://www.avalonwinery.com/Maple_Cheddar_Burgers.html.
While I’m an admitted Old World red wine freak, I always enjoy a well-constructed California Cabernet. And at under $13 a bottle, one can’t be too picky. I also love a good Cabernet and Merlot blend (this is 85% Cabernet Sauvingnon, 11% Merlot) and with an additional 3% Zinfandel and 1% Cabernet Franc, I’m exited to see the different flavors this bottle brings.
The foil has a classic, deep-red color which pairs nicely with the colors in the very regal-looking brand insignia just above the label. The off-white label has a very classy, metallic band on top and boldly displays the Avalon name in big, sans-serif font. The Avalon insignia is also subtly embossed in the background of the label.
The cork has a pink/brown tint to it and in the glass the wine is a ruby, crimson red color. I’m expecting some big, bright, red fruit and possibly some of the oak from the barrels in which this wine is aged. Onward we go…
The first several smells I picked up on sweet and tart red grapes, faint hints of wet grass and an indirect touch of muddy soil. Now, in California, most vineyards use a method called drip irrigation to ensure the vines and their soil have ample amounts of H2O regardless of any variation or lack of rainfall. This method helps make certain that vines are growing in a calculated way and that grapes are plump and juicy at harvest and ready for aging and bottling. All that to say that I’m assuming the use of drip irrigation may be where the hints of mud are showing through on the aroma.
Big bursts of red and purple fruit are apparent on the first several sips. Some delightful oak flavors quickly came to the forefront in the flavor profile as well as some meager hints of black pepper. There’s a wonderful dryness to this wine. The dryness cannot be ignored, but is also extremely smooth and easy to drink. The dryness and fruit flavors linger on the tongue long after each sip is swallowed reminding me that I don’t have to ferociously drink this wine. Each sip can be slow with a good repose between each one since the flavor and texture will stay with you for quite some time between sips.
While mildly complex in it’s flavor, the Avalon Cabernet Sauvingnon 2011 is not quite as “big” as most understand other Northern California Cabs to be. It’s very tasty and easy to drink, but not a massive red wine by any measure. Perhaps this is due to its young age. Perhaps this is very intentional by the folks at Avalon. Regardless, it was a great experience with each glass.
The Avalon Cabernet Sauvingnon 2011 is a terrific red wine, elaborate and easy to drink. For the price, this is a wine to enjoy regularly or purchase a case for shelving. This would be a crowd-pleaser for any person attending a gathering you may be hosting. And at that event that you’ll be hosting (my email is email@example.com for the invite, by the way), go ahead and throw some burgers and root veggies on the grill and open up a few bottles for all to enjoy. You may purchase this wine online (http://www.stogiesontherocks.com/go/Avalon-Cabernet-Sauvingnon-2011/) or check your local wine shop. After you’ve tried it, let us know what you think. We’d love to hear about your experience.