Forefront - 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

In recent years Pine Ridge Winery has branched out. That expansion includes properties in Oregon and other parts of California. One of the most recent projects is Forefront, an offshoot of Pine Ridge Vineyards. What differentiates the Forefront Wines from the others in the portfolio is they’re not limiting themselves by regional boundaries. They’re sourcing fruit from various regions looking for the best growing conditions and area for the varietals in question. Today I’ll look at the current release of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Forefront 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon was produced using fruit sourced primarily in Napa Valley (84%), with the remaining 16% coming from Edna Valley and Lake County. In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon (78%), Merlot (11%), Syrah (5%), Petit Verdot (3%), Malbec (2%) and Cabernet Franc (1%) are blended in as well. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled tanks with pumpovers 2 to 3 times daily. Each varietal was aged in barrel for 12 to 16 months prior to blending and bottling. This wine has a suggested retail price of $24.

Aromas of black mission fig as well as both red and black cherry fill the nose of this 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Blackberry, raspberry and plum flavors are each prominent throughout the palate along with plenty of spice, particularly black pepper. Bittersweet cocoa, espresso and touches of toasty oak all emerge in the finish which has good length. This wine has firm acidity and drinks well on its own as well as alongside medium to full flavored foods.

If you buy this wine you’re going to get a solid example of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It has plenty of appealing upfront fruit, more than sufficient structure and a solid finish. For a suggested retail of $24 (less is you shop around) this wine can be a nice everyday Cabernet Sauvignon for folks waiting for their higher end stuff to mature in the cellar. Additionally it’s a nice step up for those who routinely drink in the $12-15 window.