KIONA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - 2001
Maybe my wine blog should be titled anything BUT California wine. When it comes to finding great wines at great prices, California doesn't jump to mind, especially when it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon.
A lot of my friends and colleagues are big fans of California Cabernet. They rave about the Silver Oaks, Justins, and Harlan Estates from the left coast, but how often do they really drink them? I mean if you are a regular wine drinker, are you really opening up $100 or even $50 bottles on Tuesday night to go with leftovers? So if you love Cabernet, you need to find some lower-priced alternatives.
Washington State wines are a great place to start. There are dozens of top-notch wineries in Washington. Hopefully your local wine outlet stocks more than just Chateau Ste. Michelle which is one of the few Washington wineries to break out. Check out some of these great wineries at http://www.washingtonwine.org where you'll find some of my favorites like Waterbrook, L'Ecole No 41 and today's highlighted winery, Kiona.
Kiona winery has been around for decades and their 2001 Cabernet is a real delight. It is full of blueberries and chocolate with toasty/raisin-like undertones. Inky in color, it is blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc which makes it both round and rich. It is smooth and not what you usually get from lower priced Cabs. Inexpensive Cabs tend to be alcoholic with more heat than fruit. I found my bottle on sale for $17 which makes this a real buy for Cabernet of this quality. I've seen it priced higher in stores, but search around online where you can find some of your best bargains.
SCORE & RECOMMENDATION
If you want quality Cabernet that doesn't cost you a fortune, this is a great option. You can visit Kiona winery at www.kionawine.com.