It’s not difficult to find good Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Spend a little bit of time there and you practically trip over all the fine examples that are available. What is trickier however is finding solid Napa Cabernet at an everyday price. I’m not talking about showcase wines that need to be aged or overly examined; rather just good, solid ones most folks can afford to drink with a casual meal. Today I’ll look at a well priced Cabernet from Irony and see if it fits the bill. The Irony 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was produced using fruit sourced primarily in the Wooden Valley section of Napa; it sits east of Yountville. The remainder of the fruit is from Pope Valley. In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon (90%), this wine also contains small amounts of Petite Sirah (6%) and Merlot (4%). Fermentation took place in stainless steel with daily pumpovers. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel. This wine was aged in a combination of French and American oak for 11 months. 19,000 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $13.99.
Dark berry fruit aromas are present on the nose of this wine along with bits of eucalyptus and dry green herbs. The palate is incredibly juicy with blueberry, blackberry and dark plum flavors stealing the show alongside some core spices. Toasty oak, vanilla, white pepper and espresso characteristics mark the finish which has reasonable length. This Cabernet has soft tannins and well integrated acidity. This wine will pair will with meat or mushroom dishes. It also drinks well on its own.
This wine is exactly what I’m looking for when it comes to under $15 Cabernet from Napa Valley. It has good varietal character, and it’s well balanced with a finish that has better than decent length. This wine is aimed a short term consumption; I’d drink it over the next 2 years when it’s fruit flavors are at their peak.