Wine Time: Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa Valley

The label for Educated Guess cabernet sauvignon features scientific equations.

COST: $24-$26

 

WHAT: Let’s face it. Many times when you’re ordering wine in a restaurant or picking one out at the wine shop to bring home for dinner, you are making an educated guess.

We make our guesses based on a whole range of things, many of them not very scientific. Is the label appealing? Is if from a place where I generally like the wines? Is it from a producer I like? Does it have the grapes I like? Is the price right?

So, I like the name of this wine – Educated Guess – because we’re all in the same boat here. Just trying to find something we like and can afford. Of course, you could just find a wine you like and drink it all the time, but that would be very boring.

The folks who make this wine say the process of producing wine also is a series of educated guesses. When to pick the grapes? What should be in the blend? Should it be aged in barrels, and if so, should it be French or American oak? How should it be packaged? Even though there is some science in making wine, it is more art than science, everyone involved making their own guesses.

The label of Educated Guess is interesting because it is loaded with chemical formulas about how you make wine. There are formulas about fermentation and converting sulphur and other things. But most of us don’t buy a wine for its chemical formula. We buy the wine after an educated guess that we will enjoy it.

You will enjoy this cab, which is a blend of cabernet sauvignon and three other grapes. It also is sourced from four different California counties, primarily Napa.

The wine is ripe, rich and well-structured with plenty of fresh fruit, especially blackberry and cherry with a long, toasty oak finish. While this wine is great with food, low acidity makes it especially pleasing as a standalone sipper. This is an extremely mellow cab that will keep you coming back for more.

The blend is 84 percent cabernet sauvignon, 10 percent merlot, 5 percent petit verdot and 1 percent cabernet franc. It spends 12 months in French oak before bottling. The grapes come from Napa Valley (92 percent), Lake County (4 percent), Sonoma County (2 percent) and Solano County (2 percent).

You probably could keep this wine for 4-5 years without losing any flavor.

WINERY: The winery is named Roots Run Deep Winery. It is relatively new, opening in Napa Valley in 2005. Their goal is to produce great wine that everyone can afford. I have been drinking this wine almost from the beginning, and it is consistently good, and continues to improve.

Owner Mark Albrecht has been involved in the wine industry in one way or another for 20 years. Taking his experience as a retailer, restauranteur, wholesaler and supplier, he brought his passion to Roots Run Deep to make affordable wines that can compete with the expensive brands.

He buys grapes from growers in Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford and Carneros and lets winemaker Barry Gnekow work his magic. Buying from the best producers and not having to buy land keeps overhead down and helps keep prices down for consumers.

Educated Guess also produces chardonnay, Hypothesis cabernet sauvignon, merlot and pinot noir.

GOES WITH: We had this wine with a quick weeknight meal of chicken pot pie. On those nights I try to pick out a great bottle of wine to make the meal better. The Educated Guess did just that.

The ripe, juicy fruit flavors paired with the mellow chicken and gravy in the flaky pie crust. It was a nice meal without a lot of effort. And after dinner, there was some wine left over to sip while sitting on the couch.

You could also pair this wine with grilled steak, pork chops, beef stew, game or hard cheeses.

 WINE EVENTS

WINE AND BEER TASTING: 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, and 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; price dependent on flight selection; (706) 922-9463

WINE TASTING: 5-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, Whole Foods, 2907 Washington Road; five wines with snacks, $5, get wine tickets at the service counter; (762) 333-0260

SPANISH WINE TASTING SEMINAR: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; 10 wines, $25 advance, $30 at the door; reservations, (803) 279-9522

WINE TASTING AND SILENT AUCTION: 5:30-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, The Legends Club, 2701 Washington Road; presented by the CSRA Gyn Cancer Support Group; $100, reservations, (706) 721-3992

WINE TASTING: 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; three whites, three reds and cheeses, $5 with rebate on purchase of one bottle of the featured wines; (803) 279-9522

 

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