I bought this bottle at the local wine emporium for 32.99, mostly to blot out the memory of the night before, which I spent attempting to get drunk enough to appreciate Coppola's Director's Cut and had to pass out before any reward came. This was a little different. The nose is nice and grapey with no alcohol fumes to burst your capillaries on the first inhale. Top layer was grapey or cherryish but a little flat on complexity; mid-sip was still very fruity, and the finish was long with an interesting caramel pop at the very end. There is a type of high-end cabernet that almost feels like drinking some complex french broth; where one could almost taste beef or leeks in the moment between swallows so that drinking it on a cold night is almost as good as a meal. This wine *almost* makes it there and *almost* tastes french, with just a nanosecond of a memory of the perfume of Cote Du Rhone when it crosses your lips. All layers are balanced, fruity, but not sweet. I would not drink this on its own however, it just doesn't have the gravitas; there are layers in the vintage but none inside each layer. I would call this a 300 thread count sip. Also: I think the Malbec was a mistake. I don't think Malbec belongs in a cab; it turns a red flavor into a purple one. Entirely different and not particularly appreciated.