Winery: Once Wines
Bottling: 2007 The Table Cabernet Sauvignon
Sub-Region: Napa Valley
Estimated Retail Price: $30
Tasting Notes: This wine was crafted with the intent to be a food-friendly wine and it does a great job at hitting the mark. On the nose, lots of high-toned fruit such as red berries are intermingled with just a touch of dark fruits.
In the mouth, red currants, pomegranate, blackberries, a little spice and just a smidgen of oak. The texture was unlike anything I remember as being cabernet-esque. Elegant, medium weight, barely a trace of tannins and a slight mouth watering tartness from the refreshing acidity.
Very pinot noir like in character and personality; understandably so, given that it was crafted by a group of sommeliers, who as a group tend to be very pinot noir centric.
The flavor profile reminds me of the Gary Farrell Cabernet Sauvignon I reviewed a few months ago.
Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: With this cabernet sauvignon, I wouldn’t look to the traditional steak as your only option. I think this will go well with a broad spectrum of cuisines. In fact, I find that wines with a fruit profile that veer towards red fruit are also the most food friendly wines. My logic is that red fruits equate to higher acidity, which means better food pairing ability? Let me know if I’m on the right track.
Winery & Other Background Information: Once Wines is a project by sommelier Daniel Johnnes, manager of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants. The project came about during Johnnes’ annual “La Paulee de New York”, whereby Johnnes challenged his fellow sommeliers attending the event to create the most food-friendly cabernet sauvignon they could. This wine was the winner of the competition, which was judged by a Master Sommelier and two of France’s most esteemed winemakers.
A Table Pinot Noir is also produced by the same group which at around the same price point, I’m raring to try. The wines themselves are private lables created to also be the house wines at many of the country’s esteemed restaurants such as The French Laundry, Michael Mina and Jean-Georges.