Great Everyday Cabernet From Russian River Valley

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If everyday was Christmas, then we would have no trouble opening a Screaming Eagle Cabernet to serve with our McDonald’s cheeseburgers, but such is not the case I’m afraid.  So there is an ongoing pursuit for me to find a good ‘everyday’ Cabernet when the budget calls for it.  Which by coincidence, last week we had a selection of Cabernets from all over the world that made it into our “Flight Night” offerings at the Amazing Grapes Wine Store Bar. All of them had merit, all were under $30, but the Hook and Ladder 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Russian River Valley was my favorite.

The winery was founded in 1970 by San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach and his wife Christine, and they have been making some very nice, award-winning wines ever since.  The ’08 Russian River Valley Cabernet has a small amount of Merlot from the same Los Amigos Ranch Vineyard, and it’s aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for 20 months. I thought it had a wonderful mouth full of black cherry and raspberry fruit, a nice amount of spice with a pretty smooth finish.

Proof though is when you pour it for others  – everyone I let sample it over the weekend loved it too. Good, everyday cabernet at just $21.98 a bottle…put aside a case just so you are covered when you bring home cheeseburgers next week, McDonald’s or In-N-Out, you choose.