- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Although young, this lush, ripe Californian is fully ready to drink. It offers plenty of rich, ripe fruit, supported by toasty oak, and finishes with flavors that echo chocolate and vanilla.

Full-bodied, and thus an apt partner for hearty winter fare, it nonetheless feels soft and supple, so provides plenty of gratifying pleasure.

Not long ago, a wine like this would have been virtually impossible to make. Cabernet sauvignon, a thick-skinned grape, sports high levels of astringent tannin. That’s why it traditionally produced tight, mouth-puckering wines that needed years of aging in order to soften and become drinkable.

Research conducted over the past couple of decades, however, has helped vintners better manage tannins. In the vineyard, more attention began to be paid to picking physiologically mature grapes, not just sugar-rich ones. Then in the winery, new techniques involving maceration and fermentation led to softer, more accessible wines.

For consumers the world over, the result has been concentrated, full-flavored red wines that can be enjoyed young.

This cabernet is a delicious case in point. It demonstrates that while patience may still be a virtue, it is no longer a necessity for wine lovers.

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