2010 Joseph Blair Cabernet Sauvignon, El Camino Real (Saarloos & Sons’ Vineyard), Santa Ynez Valley
True story: I fell hard for red wine in the early mid 1980s. The scoundrel: cabernet sauvignon. This hearty Bordeaux grape varietal is all I drank. For months. I’m quite sure I’d never even heard of pinot noir, much less syrah and its Rhone cousins.
This Joseph Blair cabernet sauvignon, the second label crafted by Mark Cargasacchi (Jalama Wines), takes me back almost 25 years to autumn days in a cooler, rain-laden climate, to suppers around a fireplace followed by light desserts of aged cheddar and dark chocolate.
This cab displays a ruddy ruby color and a fresh cherry and tobacco nose. It’s tight on the palate with mouth-watering tannins — yet wonderfully drinkable now. True to its heritage of red fruit, with a smack of herbs and spice. Very focused. I split a bottle over two nights and then pawed through my cellar for another before realizing I’d given away my second bottle to a friend. Damn.
Hearty yet elegant, this Joseph Blair cabernet paired exquisitely with spicy turkey chili.