bottle of Justin cabernet half full

Need a new world wine made in an old world style that is drinkable now? Look no further than this wonderfully complex cabernet. Cherry, spice, and dried flowers on the nose. A silky, medium body, with oak and bright berries, finishing off with cherries and watermelon candy. You can feel this one all over the palate. I think the use of 25% American oak gives it a much subtler taste. I would buy a few bottles of these to just have on hand.

2006 Insignia Red

There are many factors that determine a great bottle of wine, but one of the most important is “occasion”: when did you open it, why, and with whom. Sharing this bottle with my family during COVID-19 on the occasion of my birthday certainly made it memorable. It also helped that it was a remarkable vintage that, truth be told, could have survived another 10-15 years in the bottle.

With pepper and flowers on the nose, this Bordeaux-style red (95% cabernet sauvignon and 5% petit verdot) immediately draws you in. At first, it seems balanced but quickly tilts towards the tannins (again, my bad for opening it early). Big, silky mouth feel, with charcoal and plum, and a cherry finish.

This wine comes from the Oakville region of Napa, an area of deep gravelly and sandy clay loam soil. Most cabernet sauvignons from this region are not 100% cab grapes. The addition of 5% petit verdot (or merlot, cab franc, or malbec) is common and adds to the wine’s complexity.