Kerry Winslow ~ GrapeLive Wine of the Day
March 23rd 2017 ~ 91 to 93 Points
This new Avaler 2014 Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a deeply flavored small production wine crafted by Jon Phillips of Inspiration Vineyards and Dylan Sheldon of Sheldon Wines that delivers full flavors at a reasonable price, it shows the quality of vintage to near perfection with slightly cool year character and gorgeous opulence offering wonderful balance of vitality and richness.
This wine’s release is timely with everything that is happening in the world of Cabernet Sauvignon, recently there has been a huge consolidation of top Napa Valley and Sonoma County vineyards with the potential of taking thousands of tons of fruit away from small independent wineries and boutique producers, in fact they say the average price for Napa Cabernet is heading to about $68 per bottle and parts of Sonoma not far behind, so it’s great to find a hand crafted Sonoma Cabernet with depth and true varietal layers for $25!
The 2014 Avaler Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley, 14.4% alcohol, is a 250 case cuvee that shows vibrant youthful blackberry, cherry, dark currant/cassis, raspberry and plum fruits, light floral tones, sweet tannins and with an array of tobacco, sage, coconut/vanilla and traces of licorice and liqueur. For those that love Ridge or wines from Alexander Valley will be thrilled with this Avaler Cabernet, as it is not as extracted as most Napa Valley wines, but with very stylish details and a medium/full body as well as having plenty of hedonistic charm and firm structure that makes it a Cabernet that will be flexible with cuisine and showcases the winemaker’s desire to have restraint and grace even in their macho Cabernet. It’s not hard to love this Cab, it gives lots of pleasure for the price, it’s especially joyful with grilled flank steak, prime rib and hard cheeses and is mostly ready to go as is, but should see some gains with age, drink from 2017 to 2025.