- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sequoia Grove, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2004, $32

As Napa Valley wineries go, Sequoia Grove is an old-timer. Founded in the mid

dle of the initial California wine boom in 1980, it quickly developed a reputation for its cabernet sauvignon, the red varietal that was bringing new renown to Napa as a whole.

As time passed and Napa wine became ever trendier, Sequoia Grove settled into a comfortable rut. Its wines, though rarely spectacular, were solid performers. They might not thrill you, but they rarely disappointed.

A few years ago, a change of management at the winery led to revitalized ambitions. This 2004 cabernet indicates that those ambitions are being met. It’s a truly compelling Napa cabernet, marked not simply by full flavor but also by superb balance. As a bonus, it offers excellent value, as most top Napa wines cost much more.

This exciting wine certainly can be enjoyed now, but it also can be cellared for five to 10 years. If you open it in the near term, be sure to decant it, as exposure to air will only enhance its character. Serve it with roasts, chops or hearty fall or winter stews.

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