Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
Welcome to Swill or Swell, a weekly series where I taste grocery store wines and let you know if they’re worth the buck or just meant for the drain!
CAVEAT! As you read this, please keep in mind that wine is subjective! This means that everyone enjoys different things and something I like might not be something you like and vice versa. I’ll be as objective as I can with facts about the wine’s quality, but in the end if your opinion differs from mine...that’s perfectly fine! Wine is only worth drinking if YOU like drinking it!
Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about this wine!
For this episode, I chose a wine that seems to be fairly popular amongst red wine drinkers and one I’ve seen at many a dinner party. Today, I’ll be tasting the Josh Cabernet Sauvignon from California, purchased at QFC for $12.
Before we get into the review, let’s talk a bit about this wine. The grape varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, originated in Southwest France and is the offspring of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. The most famous Cabernet Sauvignons come from Bordeaux, France where they can sell for thousands of dollars! But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot to enjoy this grape varietal. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted grape varietal in the world, partly because it's fairly easy to farm due to its thick, durable skin and the vine’s resistance to the elements but also because it creates really delicious wine!
California has quickly become a quality producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, creating wines that are more fruit forward and with higher alcohol than their French counterparts.
The producer of this wine, Josh Cellars, was founded by Joseph Carr. The winery is named after his father: Josh Carr. Feel-good fact about this winery: from day one, proceeds from Josh Cellars have been donated to various military, veteran, and firefighter groups. What started as just Cabernet Sauvignon sold out of the back of a truck, is now a collection of eight varietals (including Italian Prosecco) and a Reserve Label!
Look: Dark Ruby, Opaque
Smell: Lots of red fruit: plum, cherry, raspberry, strawberry. Almost like a strawberry jam. Hint of green pepper.
Taste: Fruit forward, good balance of acidity and tannin. Mouth waters and feels a bit dry at the same time. Alcohol is a bit high, but not overwhelming.
In summary, I was pleasantly surprised with this wine. A lot of times budget Cabernet Sauvignon coming out of California can be overwhelming in tannin, alcohol, or fruit flavor. This wine was overall fairly balanced and very drinkable. It definitely belongs in the swell group! However, I will say that if you like this wine, it could be worth branching out and trying Cabernet Sauvignon from different regions throughout the world (I'd highly suggest trying one from Chile) or from more specific regions in California (Paso Robles, Mendocino, Lodi).
Want to learn more? Check out my Instagram (@corkandfizz) every Thursday at 5PM PST for a new episode of Swill or Swell! Have a wine you’d like me to taste? Write your request in the comments below or send me a message on Instagram!