Cabernets Compete to be King

Budweiser may be the “King of Beers” but it has nothing on Cabernet, the King of wine. Okay, yes I realize Barolo has been deemed the “wine of the kings,” but in America, King of Rock is Elvis, the King of Pop is Michael Jackson the King of burgers is Burger King and the KING of wine is Cabernet! I have to admit, I love the king!

Last week we explored the noble queen of wine, Pinot Noir. Each of the lovely ladies paraded their wears without shame. They pranced across the stage seeking to be chosen for the night. Some pushed forward their lush fruit while others were coy and playful with a velvet touch. The same night, five big bold king Cabernet sat across the room posturing for position. With their broad shoulders, each stood erect, claiming their dominance over the other.

In the previous review, Signorello Estate Vineyards stood proud and represented two of the five Cabernet Sauvignon. Today we explore two more California Cabernet based wines and one Walla Walla rock star! Of the five, who is crowned the king of kings?

Do You Love Cabernet? Rick Bakas of St. Supery Winery is hosting worldwide Cabernet day on September 2. Use the #Cabernet hash tag when posting on Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, blogs and all the other sites you hang out on.  You’ll be able to connect and chat with other Cab drinkers around the world that day. I’ll be there! If you’ve never participated in an online tasting, it is an amazing experience as hundreds (and potentially thousands) of wine lovers share their passions. Drink.Share.Connect.

The NectarView

2007 Edge Cabernet Sauvignon

  • The Stuff: 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, aged 16 months in a combination of new French and American oak; extended maceration; 14.4%ABV 
  • The Swirl: Lush plum color with good color to the edges. A nice ruby jewel tone refracts in the light. 
  • The Sniff: A shy nose that offers up hints of oak and dried cherries. Over time the nose softened and reacted very well to aeration bringing out better aromas of pepper and brier.
  • The Sip: A darker feeling Cabernet that showcases dark blackberry fruit, cloves, tobacco and vanilla. Looking for bright cherry fruit and full tannin? You won’t find it here, but the wine offers a medium balance and an average finish for the price point.
  • The Score: At just $20 retail, this is a good tasting wine that will pair well with hearty steak, blue cheese sirloin burgers, and testarossa pizza. The Edge provides enough layers of flavor and structure to feel more expensive than $20. 3/5

Other Scores: 90 points Wine Enthusiast; Cellar Tracker 88.2 with 18 reviews

2007 L’Ecole 41 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon

  • The Stuff: 100% Cabernet from Seven Hills, Loess, Va Piano, Pepper Bridge, and Yellow Jacket vineyards; aged 22 months in 40% new oak; 2300 cases produces; 14.5%ABV
  • The Swirl: Bright crimson and plum in color with slightly thin edges
  • The Sniff: The fruit seems to be somewhat absent from the nose as dusty earth, spice pepper and cocoa float from the glass
  • The Sip: Hello fruit, I’m glad you decided to join us. A full rich and thick cherry fruit mixed with hints of plum and white pepper. There is flavor that moves across all areas of your mouth that make this for a fun sipping experience. The tannin is mild and the acidity and finish are medium.
  • The Score: At $40, this is a high quality, well layered Cab that reminds you of why Walla Walla is so great. $40 is fairly steep for a large percentage of people but know that you can trust this label (not to be confused with the Columbia Valley version) to be a special wine for parties, gifts, or a celebratory dinner. 4/5

2006 Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon

  • The Stuff: 75% Cabernet and 25% Syrah; cold soaking and extended maceration; aged 16 months in French and American oak; 6,000 cases produced; 14.1%ABV
  • The Swirl: A very smooth velvet plum color that presents itself as about 90% opaque; a slight tanning from age is presenting itself at the edges.
  • The Sniff: A very big and bright aromatic nose that has a perfume exotic spice, lavender, and big cherry fruit. A beautiful marriage of Syrah and Cabernet
  • The Sip: Starts off with a cedar / oak attack that almost immediately softens to a very full and round velvet cherry mid-palate. Subtle spices of nutmeg and baking spice jump up on the back end with the medium tannin and lingering finish.
  • The Score: At only $25 the beautiful fusion of Cabernet and Syrah are showcased in the 06 Fuse. The blend highlights positive aspects of each grape and comes together to create a fantastic blend. 3+/5

Cellar Tracker 88 points in 12 reviews; 4 Stars Vines Magazine

Blind Cabernet Showdown

The Signorello reds participated in a blind Cabernet tasting that included a 2007 Walla Walla L’Ecole 41, The Edge and Fuse. The wines were bagged and tagged and 12 participants were asked to rate them with 1 being their favorite and 5 being their least favorite. The interesting results (from lowest to highest) are below:

  • 2006 Signorello Estate Cab ($50) – Avg Score 3.8 – Received 4’s with a 2 and a 5
  • 2007 Edge Cab ($20) – Avg Score 3.6 – Received several 2’s and several 5’s
  • 2007 Fuse Cab ($25) – Avg Score 3.5 – Received all 3’s and 4’s
  • 2007 L’Ecole 41 Cab ($32) – Avg Score 2.2 – Received mostly 2’s with a 1 and a 5
  • 2006 Signorello Padrone ($110) – Avg Score 1.3 – Received all 1’s and a 2 (almost unanimous)

*Wines were provided as an industry sample with the intention to review


Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

3 comments on “Cabernets Compete to be King

  1. Cecilia Dominic

    I love Cabs, and I’m glad that the L’Ecole 41 was #2! I think I’d like your friends — I tend to have expensive tastes, too. 😉 Nice post and video.


    1. drinknectar

      It was a fun night. I loved seeing their reaction and watching them explore the wine. Being the only person “not blind” was exciting. The L’Ecole never disappoints!

  2. April Yap

    Hi Josh,

    I love the video. I find it great when somebody gives me a behind the video action in making wines. Thank you for the added information.

    BTW, I wanted to ask you a question about your blog but I couldn’t find a contact form. Let me know if I can email you!



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