Friday, April 24, 2015 10:00 am ·  0 Comments
The song “It never rains in Southern California…” might need some updating these days to include the entire state for the fact it has hardly rained in California over the past several years. Although drought conditions continue throughout and water consumption is an issue, at the moment there is no shortage of big ripe fruit-forward wines we have come to expect from this wine region.
One of the well-known grapes grown in California, Cabernet Sauvignon, is a late-ripener requiring more sun-hours and time on the vine than its common blending partners Merlot and Cabernet Franc which typically make up Meritage (rhymes with “heritage”) blends in California and the Bordeaux wines of France. Cabernet Sauvignon vines thrive in the Mediterranean climates of California with their typical warm days and cool evenings.
Questions of just how much water is really needed for these vines to survive and what challenges grape growers are experiencing with the state’s water shortage involve many variables such as vine age, irrigation methods, location and area regulations. There are those very concerned about future wine production, then those not so much citing vines do not need a tremendous amount of water to produce quality fruit for wine.
At the California Wine Fair 2015 Tour trade event in Toronto I tasted many Cabernet Sauvignon wines mostly from the 2012 vintage. Among my favourites: Robert Mondavi Winery – Oakville 2011, Stags’ Leap Winery – Napa Valley 2012, Beringer Vineyards – Knights Valley Reserve 2012, and Geyser Peak Winery – Walking Tree Alexander Valley 2012.