This week’s wine review is brought to you by my husband who chose the wine. Standing in our local wine shop last week, I might have skimmed past it as I was scanning the shelves, but he pointed it out to me. “That looks interesting,” he said, eyeing a bottle with a vibrantly illustrated label. The owner of the shop, who is also a trusted connoisseur, assured us that we would love it, so naturally, it came home with us. It was the label that caught my husband’s attention – a lion, with teeth bared, lunging with ferocity at some unseen foe. It’s a very masculine image which appeals on a visceral level, but what really struck me were the fine lines of the illustration and the contrasting colours. Specifically, crimson leaves scattered beneath the beast’s turquoise claws and jowls. Like something from a synesthetic dream, and that appeals to me, viscerally.
This Juggernaut 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is full of contrasts and surprises. Made with grapes grown in rocky, hillside vineyards north and west of San Fransisco, the terroir presents the ideal growing conditions to test and challenge the vines which, in turn, yield grapes that are smaller but richer, more intensely flavoured and more vibrant than those grown in a more coddled environment.
In the glass, the wine is the deepest shade of burgundy, almost black. On the nose it’s fruit heavy, with wisps of green peppercorn and graphite. But on my fist sip I was taken aback by how luxuriously soft it felt in my mouth – the tannins are very light, almost nonexistent, yet somehow it maintains a robustness that makes it a very satisfying and easy drinking wine. The predominate flavours are of cassis and dry fig with cocoa. In the background, a hint of tobacco and young French oak. The wine finishes with a peppery bite which is not at all unpleasant, but provides an unusual contrast to the soft suppleness of the opening. The wine balances out nicely as it breathes. As I said, contrasts upon contrasts, just like the artwork on the label.
Synesthetic notes: When I drink this wine, the colours I see are all drawn from the earth – a soft grey of morning fog, forest greens reaching blindly into the mist, delicate mossy greens growing on steely granite with flecks of pink and gold embedded into the stone. Drinking this wine is like walking deep in the woods. I wasn’t expecting such a soft and velvety wine when we opened this bottle.
This post in NOT sponsored. The notes and opinions are my own. I purchase this wine for about $24.00 USD and was in no way compensated for this post. More information can be found at Juggernaut Wines.