Pepperwood Grove Cabernet Sauvignon

Another of the Sebastiani wineries, Pepperwood Grove not only uses a label with varying shades of green waves but is also busily working at finding ways to match the color on their label with their business practices.  As part of their sustainability program, for instance, they have been getting into the boxed wine category (Big Green Box and Little Green Box).  Their box packaging uses materials that are 100% recyclable and paper that is sourced from sustainable forests.  Like me, though, you can still get your Pepperwood Grove in a bottle where for additional sustainability they stop their wines with the re-usable ZORK® STL bottle closure.

That’s all well and good.  I’m glad winemakers are concerned about sustainability and taking steps to employ sustainable practices in the various facets of their business.  But all of that isn’t going to sell me on the wine if it isn’t worth drinking.  I’m happy to say that I think this budget Cab was worth popping the zork on.

Winemaker: Pepperwood Grove
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage:  NV
Appellation: California
Price: $6.99  at Whole Foods

Notes:  In the glass this inexpensive Cabernet was a dark reddish purple – just barely translucent.  On the nose I found musty earth, dark berries, and pepper.  The body was fairly light and smooth.  It had gentle but definite tannins and good acidity.  Alcohol was at 13%.  On the palate I encountered flavors of currant, earth, cherry, oak, pepper, and a minty note.  I thought it was pleasant for a non-vintage Cab in this price range.  I imagine this Pepperwood Grove would probably be pretty good with Mexican fare or a burger.

Naked Grape Cabernet Sauvignon

I’ve been seeing this label in the stores for awhile, but hadn’t had any of their wines till now.  Funny thing: I tasted this the same evening as another red varietal (post to come soon), and the similarities in style were so striking I thought I was tasting fraternal twins.  I mean fraternal twin wines, of course.  You know, similar but not identical.  Anyway, here’s my takeaway from this one.

Winemaker:  Naked Grape
Wine:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage:  NV
Appellation:  California
Price: $8.29

Notes:  This little number was surprisingly light for a Cabernet Sauvignon.  If you had told me I was drinking a blended red with no Cabernet Sauvignon, I might have believed you.  In the glass it was a clear rich red color.  The bouquet had plenty of earthiness – even dirt – red currant, and whispers of brown spice.  On the palate I found an unexpected juxtaposition of bright cherry with dark currant along with hints of pepper, a menthol kick on the end and notes of sweet cinnamon here and there.  The wine is light-bodied with almost no tannins.  Alcohol is 13%, and acidity is OK.  It’s pleasant enough and inexpensive enough to pair with the delivery pizza you order when you just don’t feel like cooking or that quick bowl of left-over pasta you heat up after a long day at work.

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.