Monday, March 8, 2010

2008 Callaway Cellar Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon, California

Terry post:

It would have been sometime around 1987 or 1988 when I was still living in San Diego that my wife and I drove up to Temecula to spend a long weekend at a Bed & Breakfast. While In Temecula we visited several small wineries including Callaway.

At the time, Callaway was a boutique winery producing somewhere in the range of 15,000 to 20,000 per year. A nice size to be sure, but nowhere near the production of the giants in Napa and Sonoma.

I have very fond memories of the weekend there and my two enduring memories of our get away weekend there were the fabulous Callaway on-site restaurant and their spectacular wines.

Time and corporate acquisitions have diluted the Callaway brand. Between then and now the company was acquired by a multi-national beverage company and production increased ten-fold. Several years ago the winery was reacquired by local interests and they are working to decrease production and increase quality. I wish them every success.

My impressions. Lovely purple hue in the glass. Uncharacteristic (for a Cab) muddled fruit on the nose and across the tongue. The label is mute on the point, but this cannot be a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon - and I suspect there is a healthy dose of Merlot in there to round-out (overly so) the edges. Profoundly fruit forward with virtually no backbone. Brief finish.

Your appreciation for this wine will be determined by how you choose to use it. If you want an fruity, easy to drink Cab (blend) for a reasonable price - this is a very good selection. If you want a hearty Cab to serve with food - you'll be less pleased: the fruit will overwhelm almost any dish with which it was paired.

~ Terry

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