"This was a pleasant discovery during my recent tastings for this value report. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Syrah, Merlot, and Petite Sirah. Its dark ruby/plum color is followed by sweet aromas of black currants, smoke, damp earth, licorice, and spice. Medium-bodied and pure with silky tannins as well as a surprisingly long finish, it should drink well for 5-8 years. It has been at least twenty years since I have had a Napa Cabernet this good for under $15 a bottle." -Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
Deep ruby colored, our 2005 wine shines in the glass. Blueberry and plum nuances from the Syrah complement the dark cherry and black raspberry
characteristics of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Supple texture and forward fruit flavors are balanced and enhanced by aging in French and American barrels. Oak aging provides a lingering note of toasted oak and vanilla while giving breadth and depth
on the palate. The wine should continue to develop over the next 4-7 years.
Like the Indie films that inspired Avalon, our wines are original and uncut. We focus on the essence of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. We differentiate ourselves by producing flavorful wines at a decent price. We specialize in Cabernet Sauvignon and just recently branched out with our first release of Merlot from the 2009 vintage.
Avalon - AKA Paradise. According to Arthurian legend, the town of Glastonbury in the U.K. was once known as Avalon. Avalon has long been associated with paradise. It is a land of souls. Many believe that King Arthur's soul rests there and will some day rise again to defend England.
Our wines don't cost a king's ransom, but that's exactly what our Winemaker Alex Cose used to make. We joke with him and say, "Make us a wine that tastes like $75, and then let's sell it for about $15".
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It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Very muscular cab (made more interesting by the addition of Syrah and Petite Sirah to the blend), but not too hot (alcohol level doesn't overpower), and with that characteristically velvety bordeaux quality. Exceedingly long finish to this wine, with lots of black pepper and blueberries on the palate. I'm with Robert Parker on this one--one of the best inexpensive cabs I've had in years.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.