Pick a winery, any winery and there's a fair chance they have a second label. Historically this was more often the case when a well known, possibly high end, producer wanted to put some everyday drinking wines on the shelf. These days however it's equally common form a winery to have a second label that produces a higher or reserve tier of wines. Such is the case with Del Fava Family Winery. This is the new off shoot from V-Twin Vineyards, and their take on small production, reserve type wines. Today I'll look at their Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2007 Del Fava Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from fruit sourced in the Geyserville section of Alexander Valley. In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), this offering includes Syrah (12%), Petit Verdot (4%), Cabernet Franc (3%), Malbec, (2%) and Merlot (2%). Barrel aging was accomplished over a period of 16 months in a combination of new French and American oak. Alcohol content for this Cabernet Sauvignon is 14.2%. 168 cases of this vintage were produced and the suggested retail price is $28.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the first varietal that come to mind when I think of Alexander Valley. Over the years I've had quite a few excellent ones, both from large well known producers as well as boutique wineries. So I'm always eager to see what someone is doing with Alexander Valley Cabernet. The nose of this wine was slightly reserved at first but some time in the decanter really helped. Once it had opened up plum, blackberry and toasty oak notes fill the nose. Lots of ripe, sweet raspberry and cherry notes are evident throughout the palate along with a nice helping of blackberry as well, to round out the berry filled experience. Cherry pie crust and spice characteristics are evident from the first sip and carry through the finish which has leather, earth, cigar box and espresso notes. This wine has fine, yielding tannins as well as good acidity.
Having had a number of the wines that Scott Del Fava and his wife are making under the two labels, the story of the house style has emerged and become apparent to me. Each of the selections is full flavored, very smooth and layered with good complexity. This Cabernet is delicious now but will certainly improve with some time in the bottle. What impressed me most about this selection is that for $28 you have a very solid Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which is appropriate for mid-term aging. I'd hold it for a year or so and drink it in the 5 or 6 after that.